Fukushima Deteriorates Again As Steam Now Rising From Reactor 1 For First Time, Including All Other Reactors; Reactor 5 Cooling Fails

Tyler Durden's picture

Not an hour passes without something material developing in Fukushima. Just out from NHK: all four broken reactors are now smoking. While 2, 3 and 4 have all issued smoke or steam at some point in the past, it is now Reactor 1's turn. From NHK: "An NHK helicopter crew has confirmed what appears to be steam rising from No. 1, 2, 3 and 4 reactor buildings at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. This is the first time that steam has been seen coming out of the No.1 reactor. The helicopter crew was filming from a location more than 30 kilometers from the plant shortly before 7:00 AM on Thursday." It was not all bad news: "The Tokyo Electric Power Company says that black smoke seen rising from the No.3 reactor building on Wednesday was no longer visible as of 6:00 AM Thursday." It is unclear if the radiation level had dropped enough to where workers could resume their attempt to reactive the cooling stations at Fukushima.

And more bad news, this time from Reactor 5, which was previously considered safe, via the NYT:

The cooling system at Reactor No. 5, which was shut down at the time
of the earthquake and has shown few problems since, also abruptly
stopped working on Wednesday afternoon, said Hiro Hasegawa, a spokesman
for Tokyo Electric....“When we switched from the temporary pump, it automatically switched
,” he said. “We’ll try again with a new pump in the morning.”

In the meantime, the Nikkei continues to once again diverge from the utter lunacy that is the US stock market.

h/t Donald

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Ident 7777 economy's picture

NOT a good sign ...


Screen grab of Reactor #1 only off NHK an hour or two ago:



Reactor buildings 1-3 side profile off NHK earlier:



Rx #2 left, #3 center (behind vert stack), #4 left -

2 and 4 can be seen to have smoke:



SparkyvonBellagio's picture

Dear Japanese,








Gully Foyle's picture

Could someone explain I guess worst case scenario? MOX was used in reactor three. At least four reactors, and now maybe a fifth, have a threat of meltdown.

I've read the description of 100x worse than Chernobyl.

I've seen the, Swedish was it, statement on the entire Northern Hemisphere threatened. I know Wa state has detected cesium.

Obviously Japan is fucked.

But what else happens? I've seen the mentions about heavier elements dropping out as distance increases. Sounds good.

Then you contrast it with the French spread animation and the thing about the Northern hemisphere, and both are contradictory.

I have relatives in Ca who just had a baby. I have a niece in New Mexico.

Obviously the government is not going to tell anyone to get the fuck out because they have an exponentially increasing threat of death. A horrible death at that.

And clearly this is still early days. Gundersen claimed the reactors would need venting daily for at leats a year.

Plus I'm not even into build up in soil and water and this summer/fall us crops let alone next year or the year after.

Anyone willing to run through worst case scenario then back it down to where we are today?


dark pools of soros's picture

convert to Zionism,  cockroaches are immune

chumbawamba's picture

Ok, now that was fucking funny.


I am Chumbawamba.

Chumbadumba's picture




rookie's picture

thank you.  this is exactly my question.  could someone please explain the worst scenario?

prophet's picture

From what I have gathered, fire poses the most risk for widespread contamination.  Even so, a 50 mile dead zone in that part of Japan and tainted ocean waters are pretty bad.

Gully Foyle's picture


"From what I have gathered, fire poses the most risk for widespread contamination."

Ok, expand on that please.

Like I said Cesium in Wa, something in Iceland and Colorado, French animation.

But what spreads? I doubt that the heavier atoms will drop out significantly as distance increases, as some have claimed.


Mark McGoldrick's picture

.......could someone please explain the worst scenario?....

Worst case scenario?  

Radioactive isotopes cross the Pacific, fucks up the signal from DirecTV, and forces endless reruns of The Jeffersons andThe Cosby Show on Trav777's television.  

trav7777's picture

loved the cosby show...fantasy programming is great if you just suspend your disbelief far enough

Mark McGoldrick's picture

Actually, I've thought of a scenario worse than the one above:

In one particular episode, Mr Jefferson sells his dry cleaners and moves to a two story penthouse, one block away from Central Park. In a fit of rage that a black man would actually accomplish anything, Trav777 hurls the television out the window of his trailer.  It hits his wife who is fixing the carburetor on the family El Camino in the front yard.  She dies, and leaves Trav777 as the sole parent of their two kids.  

Now, here's the worst part of this scenario:  Two more kids are raised to believe that skin color factors in the value of a person.    

MSimon's picture

The US is probably not in much danger. 8,000 miles is a long way for particulates to travel. Rain and dispersion will reduce the particulate load considerably.


We can measure radiation at levels a LOT lower than are dangerous.



Mentaliusanything's picture

The rain in Fukushima falls mainly on the plain called the Pacific ocean.

The World largest containment vessel and food bowl combined.

Fishy you eat like smaller fishy who eat smaller fishy who eat small shrimp who eat krill who eat plankton that will fucken kill you with concentration by the time you eat your fishy. 8,000 miles of escalation will make sure of that. 

Wheres the EPA when ya need 'em - brought and paid for I hear

What a complete fuck up.

TruthInSunshine's picture


The truth is that no one really knows the worst case scenario.

I spent some time on physicsforums, where most of the members have backgrounds and many have advanced degrees in the hard sciences, and they admit there are too many variables that are unknown, such as exactly how much spent fuel was being stored at Fukushima Daiichi at the time it lost power, and the degree of faultiness/defectiveness of the containment vessels (see Bloomberg & ZH articles).

In fact, I went there to just get a feel for 'worst case scenario' as you have asked about, but there wasn't a lot of certainty.

The problem with radioactive releases of materials into the air, water, food chain and soil is that with some of the particular radioactive materials involved, the half-lives are rather long, and the radioactivity can be concentrated via certain methods and at certain points.

I do believe this is why the water supply is such a huge issue.

As of now, high levels of radiation are officially in Tokyo's municipal water supply, and with these reactors discharging more radiation into the water table and the air by the hour, no one knows how high these levels will get, but there is consensus they'll head much higher than where they are now.

Another interesting and scary fact is that the entombment or sarcophagus method of sealing the reactors, which is where it looks like the Japanese will have to resort to, is a monumental task. Chernobyl was one reactor where much of the radioactive material was shot into the upper atmosphere via an explosion in one event - Fukushima has 6 reactors, a lot more spent fuel than Chernobyl did, and the radioactive material remains on site, seeping into the water table, air, ocean and soil.

Pondmaster's picture

Wormwood !


"And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter." (Revelation 8:10, 11 - KJB)

The star does not have to be a literal star . There you have it . mention of the "fountains of water " . hmmm , the earths aguafiers ? Study on these my friends . How are the aguafiers connected . Just sayin .

Commander Cody's picture

So, you're saying I shouldn't drink absinthe?

fallingman's picture

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Mentaliusanything's picture

Hey Rookie, the worst case scenerio is not written yet.

But if they continue to dick around - well - Its going to affect not only you but every person on the planet.

Sorry but thats the truth and there is no stuffing this genie back from whence it came.

Just remember - Shit doesn't "Just happen" - it is always caused by Assholes

RichardP's picture

From the comments over the last several weeks, worst-case for U.S. would be if the core melted through the bottom of the container, through the earth, and down to the water table.  Hitting the water table would create an explosion large enough to send radioactive particles up into the jet stream.  Theoretically, that could bring radiation problems to the U.S.

Absent a meltdown to the water table, just a lot of problems locally - depending on which way the wind blows and whether they can keep putting water on the hot-spots.

Other than that, the specifics of possibles scenarios have been laid out in a good bit of detail in posts over the past week or so.  Not likely anybody is going to restate all of that here just to save you from searching on a few key words.  Not trying to be nasty.  Just realistic.

Gully Foyle's picture


"Other than that, the specifics of possibles scenarios have been laid out in a good bit of detail in posts over the past week or so"

Not really. I have read all the various posts here and every other site I could find. I've followed the discussions about each post.

Sure there may be a few suggestions but not much on what happens to we here in the US.

"Hitting the water table would create an explosion large enough to send radioactive particles up into the jet stream.  Theoretically, that could bring radiation problems to the U.S."

That was the closest to specific I have seen.

To me that is merely a decent starting point.

Because really all you said was "Boom, then bad shit falls from the skies".


holdbuysell's picture

Check out the Wikipedia links below. These entries contain references that will allow you to dig in further.



RichardP's picture

To be fair, I've been following the goodly number of links posted in all of the comments.  At some point, it all starts to blur together.  Perhaps the more specific parts were in links and not comments.

"Problem radiation" depends on type (radioactive iodine vs. cesium; plutonium vs. not plutonium, etc.), amount (few particles vs. many particles), and length of exposure.  Difficult to predict any of these if meltdown reaches water table and explodes into jet stream.  Conventional wisdom is that the great distance to the U.S. will dilute the many particles into few.  What types of particles will fall, where they will fall, what the half-life of the particular type of particle is, etc., is not possible to predict at the moment.  Conventional wisdom is that it won't be a health issue.  They point to the nuclear bombs that were detonated over Japan where radiation got into the jet stream.  No effect on U.S. to speak of.

thegr8whorebabylon's picture

Dear Gully, after bad shit falls from the sky, go read Neville Shute.

westboundnup's picture

I'm not the one to address the worst case scenario, but I make this prediction, they will never entomb the reactors in concrete.  It would require at least an additional 300 people to knowingly forfeit their lives.

Gully Foyle's picture


Then what other choices do they have?

The other big question is how the fuck does this effect virtually everything imported from Japan including electronics and cars? It strike me that prices will skyrocket on shit like computers and cell phones.

Later on will we need a geiger count before buying a Nissan or Honda to check radiation levels.

RichardP's picture

Japanese production transferred to South Korea.  Invest there.

Dr. Porkchop's picture

I just replaced my five year old laptop with a new Toshiba... just in time.

Rusty Shorts's picture

LMAO, there's no such thing as a "five year old laptop"

TruthInSunshine's picture

Thinkpad (IBM, true Thinkpad, not Lenovo crap), for the win!

I have a new Sandy Bridge notebook, but prefer my Thinkpad because of the build quality and superb keyboard.

johnQpublic's picture

motherfucking show me the carfax on that glowing honda

chumbawamba's picture

I hope we would all be brave enough to make that sacrifice if it was our own home, family, community, and country that was at stake.

I make this prediction: they'll easily find the 300 people (and more).

I am Chumbawamba.

Golden monkey's picture

Next month, or next year?

They are looking at "valuable power assets".

(The carpet store is on fire, but the owner is busy trying to pull his stock on the boardwalk).

Never mind that funny smoke : we are in business...


Pondmaster's picture

300 volunteers for death ?

Agree 100% . These folk are the REAL heroes , a rarity nowadays . Kinda like our heroes in Washington and at the Fed ? NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  The USA has no heroes like Japan .

viahj's picture

ever hear of a fire fighter, jerkwad?

mogul rider's picture

+100 when the chips are down the Japanese are real tough mother fuckers. Ask the poor bastards that tried to get them out of Iwojima.Thousands would consider it an honor. They'd ahve to resort to short sticks.



johnQpublic's picture

it took 800,000 'voluteers' to bury chernobyl


300, prolly no problem to get voluteers

800k is a whole different story

Daphneisfedup's picture

I've also wondered about the possibility of entombment.  At Chernobyl the "bio-robots" sent to the roof to chuck off the superradioactive graphite were only up there about 2 minutes each, but still a fair number of them died.

Fukushima has 4 reactors and counting in trouble, and a lot more used fuel to throw off radiation.  What if the radiation gets so bad that people die right there on the grounds within a couple of minutes?  I don't know if that is possible, but if so, I don't think there is anything anyone could do for years.

Jim in MN's picture

This will be a rather free form comment, not trying to quantify things but to delineate the whole 'scenario' concept for folks.  Well, some ballpark quantification.

There are two kinds of problem here--core containment and waste pools.  But in the end it's all fissile material that has been brought together for one purpose: to boil water.  That is, to get hot.  But not too hot.

The balance of how refined the uranium or MOX is, versus how much moderation is introduced by water or control rods or simple spacing between fuel rods, sets up the initial conditions.  The major variable is the water.

Once cooling is lost the rods start to heat up past their intended temperatures.  They also release direct radiation and radioactive substances which the water would have shielded.  This is true even with a full stop to the active chain reaction (control rods in the core, or spacing/boron moderator racks in the waste pools).  If cooling cannot be restored, the rods get to a temperature where the 'cladding' or protective layer starts to burn (oxidize).  This is already releasing more radioactive stuff, but it also creates another heating force.  Then, eventually, the fuel itself melts.  It can in certain circumstances reach criticality again, too, where the emitted particles from fission hit enough nearby uranium/plutonium atoms to split them, and that then forms yet a third source of heat.  I for one don't think this recriticality is all that likely here, but you don't need an active chain reaction for the heat to destroy the containment systems.  All you need is loss of cooling, and time. 

So for the cores, the real problems start when the series of multiple/redundant containment systems fails.  Note that this can be partial or total failure.  The simplest, and worst, case would be a full meltdown in which the fuel rods heat up, melt, and become a lava-like molten mass that eventually melts through the containment systems.  This is what started to occur at Three Mile Island; it didn't happen because the melted fuel was uneven, hit a lot of debris at the bottom of the containment vessel, and created hot spots but none hot enough long enough to cause vessel failure.

If one or more core loads did exit containment, one would then speculate about what would happen next.  Maybe it just falls splat on the building floor, spreads out enough to cool a bit, and that's it, just naked uranium/plutonium and associated fission byproducts at high temperature in the reactor building.  A lot of vapor, maybe some particulate, definitely some steam. 

The big steam explosion, really a radioactive geyser, is the ultimate fear for core containment loss.  That would be a big enough amount of water (from all the dousing for example) or the water table under the building.  Then you get a much higher, much more contaminated release of material and farther and worse contamination.  Having said that, it wouldn't last as long as the Chernobyl event and would probably involve a much smaller fraction of fine particulate matter, i.e. soot.  On the other hand if it's really worst case, everyone flees the first meltdown and you lose other cores/pools.

OK so the pools.  Everyone's big fear here (within the Moonbat Truth Brigade as it were) is a 'dirty fire' in the waste pools.  That would involve extended burning of the fuel rod cladding, or mixed debris and fuel rods, and could be a more Chernobyl-type release.  Depending on a lot of things, it could be hard to get such a fire out.  I have to say that I am not aware of such a fire ever occurring in reality.  It might even be impossible.  But the damage to the buildings is such that we have no idea of the condition of the pools, the possible scattering or piling up of rods, etc.  So a perfect arrangement of rods may just be waiting for a long enough loss of cooling water.  Most likely would be an off-and-on, sputtering affair with a big black smoke plume but not a giant intense blaze/smoke column like, say, a refinery fire. 

Anything involving a fuel rod fire is bad, because it's less steam and more particulate matter.  That implies more long range transport of heavier/larger particles.  Plus, all the rods that are not MOX have something like 1%+ plutonium in them anyway.

So, having said all this nasty stuff, the chances of a serious health risk to the US are still very remote.  I have an 18 month old and a 3 year old.  I do not think that even in a worst case scenario, anything will happen to them.

Chernobyl twitched the needles on the radiation detectors in the Midwest.  I remember going in to the physics building on campus to see it move up when it rained.  Merely a curiosity and a reminder that we are all connected.

Keep an eye on this site because if you do have a long, large, smoky event there or any core steam explosions you will most certainly hear about it. 

Things can, sadly, end up worse than the worst case.  Another quake, a crash of a support aircraft, or just a bolt failing can trigger a series of events that take us someplace new.  But this is a Japanese crisis.  The impacts on Japan could (pray not) be truly awful, much worse than we've yet seen.  Or it could all get cooled down, not break any more, and just be about what you see now.

More on specific types of radioactive material, 'ultimate release potential' at the site, and plumes/transport if you want to hear it.  But this is the main set of factors that determine if you should even start to worry.  So far, I am not.

chumbawamba's picture

Thanks for the informative post, Jim.

avonaltendorf's picture

Really superb summary, Jim.

davepowers's picture

yes, thanks

do you have some interweb thing where you could post these for reference purposes?

given this format, lots of informative postings are lost in the mass of prior pages and postings.

RichardP's picture

If you see something that is useful to you, copy and paste it to a text file or word document.  Get only the really useful stuff and put a line between postings so you know where one stops and the next starts (how to calculate dosages, etc.).  Do the same for links you find useful.  Keep the links at the top and the narrative stuff beneath that.  I've been doing that in case radiation problems end up getting serious on the west coast.  Then I won't have to go search through all the posts to re-educate myself.  I have all the important stuff in one spot for review.  It could be important.  If it ends up not being needed, it will be easy to delete that one file.


Triggernometry's picture

Another personal archiver, interesting. Don't forget to cite the source of data, in the event you later find any particular source to be compromised; helps to be able to track such things.

TheMerryPrankster's picture

File,save page as, works a charm in firefox. Once you've got a copy of the webpage saved locally to you harddrive, you can print it as a pdf or edit it with an html editor, even microsloth word will let you edit html.

Works great for saving recipes as well as porn(survival porn, financial porn or sexually provocative porn)

RichardP's picture

Yes, but:  on any give (long) page, there may be just a few kernals of actual wisdom, or only one link of any merit.  By copying only what you consider relevant to a text or word file, you end up with a concise list of relevant stuff.  If you have a bunch of saved pages, you end up needing to wade through a bunch of crap to find the nuggets of good info.  I'm doing this only in case I need to re-educate myself in an emergency.  I sure don't want to have to be reading through saved pages of irrelevant stuff in an emergecy.