Fukushima Update: Reactor 1 Core Now At 380 Degrees Celsius, 80 More Than Normal Running Temperature

Tyler Durden's picture

The latest news from Japan is not the radiation has now been found in various leaf vegetables in Fukushima, including cabbage and parsley: after all that was to be expected following the radioactive rain of the past few days. The news this time comes straight from TEPCO which finally admits that the temperature of Reactor 1 is 380-390 Celsius (715-735 Fahrenheit), which apparently is a "worry" as the reactor was meant to run at a temperature of 302 C (575 F). That is when the reactor is fully operational, not when it is supposed to be in a cold shut down mode.

From Reuters:

Hidehiko Nishiyama, the deputy-director general of Japan's nuclear safety agency, later said the smoke at reactor No.3 had stopped and there was only a small amount at No.2.

He gave no more details, but a TEPCO executive vice president, Sakae Muto, said the core of reactor No.1 was now a worry with its temperature at 380-390 Celsius (715-735 Fahrenheit).

"We need to strive to bring that down a bit," Muto told a news conference, adding that the reactor was built to run at a temperature of 302 C (575 F).

Asked if the situation at the problem reactors was getting worse, he said: "We need more time. It's too early to say that they are sufficiently stable."

As was reported only on Zero Hedge so far, the termal imagery from Fukushima indicates that if reactor one is a "worry", then reactor 3 should be a "nightmare", as according to some it is now "operating" north of 500 degrees celsius, and possibly as high as a 1,000. That's three times what it is designed to withstand.

From yesterday:

h/t TH

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Doode's picture

Temporature - there is a typo.


I see it was corrected, nm. Also, do not see the images...


Works now - thanks!

Turd Ferguson's picture

A little help, please.

Is reactor #3 the one with the plutonium?

TruthInSunshine's picture

5% plutonium, 95% other, 100% Mox.

Natasha's picture

Plutonium fuel is called MOX. Errr, ok.

At this point, POX would be more apt.


Turd Ferguson's picture

And that's the shit that's really fucking bad. And that's what's in #3? Fuck...

malikai's picture

The only real problem with MOX is that it melts at a lower temperature. However, that is a moot point now since it is all but documented that most if not all of these things have suffered fuel element damage.

Pu is too heavy to make it anywhere in significant quantities other than the local environment or the pacific where it will be dispersed widely and end up in sediment and a few million tuna.

The local land is already fubar due to the strontium and the surrounding prefectures including Tokyo have already had a blanket of caesium and iodine on them. There is no point in worrying about Pu because it as a problem is dwarfed by sr90 and cs137 and the cleanup measures are effectively the same.

I will add however, that Pu is hot. In terms of decay alone pu238's decay heat is over 500w/kg. That's great for generating power, but not so good when the collant pumps are broken.



Sudden Debt's picture

I also wonder how fast concrete will dry if they poor it on something that's 1000 degrees? :)

That's near the temperature of lava :)




krispkritter's picture

Pu stinks...there, I said it...

RiffRaff's picture

Well played.  It would have been disappointing if no one said it.

Inibo E. Exibo's picture

Plutonium is too heavy to make it anywhere in significant quantities other than the local environment or the pacific where it will be dispersed widely and end up in sediment and a few million tuna.

Zero Hedge, it's like Wonkette without the stupid part.

duo's picture

Not many tuna close in to Japan anymore, I don't think, but if Pu gets concentrated like Mercury, then it will eventually end up at the top of the food chain.

I suggest stocking up on tuna, sardines, and fish oil.

Jim in MN's picture

Plutonium can be transported as an aerosol and while this is not likely in a reactor fire environment, the quantities involved here make it a serious issue.

Article on nuclear weapon accidents and plutonium dispersal.


Protip: any matter that is elemental can be transported, even globally.  Elements are small from a molecular standpoint even when they are 'heavy' in the periodic table.  Mercury is notorious for global aerosol transport.  For plutonium the key factor is oxidation.  It's harder to oxidize than mercury.  But that's a chemical property, not because it's 'heavy'.

tmosley's picture

You're right.  I'm sure density has nothing to do with it.  It's only the size of the atoms that matters.  This is why when I chop wood, bits of my axe end up in Azerbaijan.

SilverRhino's picture

Not buying global aersol dispersal on a metal denser than gold and tungsten

Jim in MN's picture

From a paper out of Lawrence Berkeley Lab which sought to reassure people that 'not that many' people would die from plutonium aerosol from a terrorist weapon--BECAUSE THE WIND WOULD TRANSPORT IT BEYOND THE CITY.



"Falling at 0.3 centimeters per second, particles from the top of a one-kilometer-high cloud would take almost 93 hours to reach the ground. It is hard to imagine that the contaminated air would remain over a city for so long. Even a light breeze (5 km/hr) would carry the cloud beyond a city the size of Munich (20 km x 20 km) in a few hours.

If there were no evacuation, no filtering of air by being inside, and if the cloud did not migrate beyond the city, the population could inhale 80 milligrams of plutonium (0.0002 milligrams per cubic meter x 1 cubic meter per hour x 93 hours x 4300) in 93 hours, which would result in about 960 cancer deaths (12 cancers per milligram x 80 milligrams = 960), in addition to the 860 cancer deaths one expects (20% of the population), from other causes, among 4300 people."

dick cheneys ghost's picture

Disaster prone Indonesia wants to build 4 nukes plants......bad idea....




tmosley's picture

Wouldn't be so bad if they would use a pebble bed reactor.

Although it just struck me that these plants should have a second line of defense in the form of a tungsten container that would catch any meltdown, and be quickly and easily sealable.  I don't think tungsten would melt even at critical temperatures.

Quick, somebody call Ft. Knox!

FreeMoney Bernie's picture

makes me want to say waaaaaaah

dogismyth's picture

Everything will be fine tomorrow before premarket...guaranteed.  Notice the article is from Reuters.  Never trust a Reuters or AP article without questioning their motives.  How long has this Fukushitma been going on now?  And they're still working like stickmen in the mud?  This problem could have been minimized if they brought in the Germans and/or the Russians...OK...and maybe a few from China.  They're fucking idiots and its probably because the US is telling them what to do.  Why would that be?  Sorry no freebies....do your research!

divide_by_zero's picture

Yep, it's all glow in the dark green shoots as far as the pump monkeys are concerned.

redpill's picture

Yes.  Still not entirely clear if there was any plutonium in the storage pool there, though.  If there was it wouldn't have been much because the MOX fuel was only loaded relatively recently.

Commander Cody's picture

Irrelevant.  There is plutonium in every irradiated fuel assembly.  Unit 3 has it in fresh assemblies (MOX - mixed oxide).

As for temperatures, while water can be added, without a cooling system to remove heat where does it go?

slewie the pi-rat's picture

i would say it changes form and flies the fuk outa there, iso-topically speaking...

malikai's picture

Looking at the SPX I'd say unicorns come and piss on the reactor, causing it to instantly turn into little fluffy snowflakes which rise up into outer space.

The Rock's picture

It has been said something as small as the flutter of Bernank's willy can ultimately cause a tsunami halfway around the world.

X. Kurt OSis's picture

I just find endless amusement from the BBG public (sheeple) cite.  Despite all of this, here is the current list of video commentary on the landing page:

1) Buffett says US economy getting better every month.

2) Mobius Says He's Bullish on South Africa Investment

3) Guy LeBas says Inflation is a Good Thing

I've been mentioning this in other threads today, but I just can't get over the mainstream financial media.  They are the essential wingnut that holds this whole ponzi scheme together.

Hey Bloomberg,


jeff montanye's picture

that may very well be deserved.  they did take the fed to the supreme court and won recently regarding making public some of the loans the fed made to banks in 2008, which may be modestly helpful.

Jim in MN's picture

Cody is correct.  Chart of the reaction in normal fuel at this link:



dick cheneys ghost's picture

US has 71,000 tons of Nuclear waste.......and no place to put it....



jus_lite_reading's picture

ITS CALLED MOX! The most unstable fuel used! Also used for weapons! WHOA! NO wonder they looked so worried!

Those workers bring a whole new meaning to the word kamikazi!

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

All reactors produce plutonium as a waste product - the MOX however is a industrial recycling of this waste into a new fuel vessel

Burn it burn it all...............................

cornedmutton's picture

Too hot in the hot tub!

TruthInSunshine's picture

It keeps getting worse.

How will we know when it's about to enter an 'unstable stage?'

Is there a specific temperature?

And just so I have this right, number 1 at Daiichi has the normal 'kill you real bad' nuclear fuel, and number 3 at Daiichi has the 'and shit in your skull' nuclear fuel, right?

Edit - The heat map is now up. Look at the pretty colors, especially at Number 3.

Is Number 2 on fire?

Threeggg's picture

It will be 1370-1400 Degrees Celcius

That is the melting point of schedule 316 and 316L stainless steel that the containment vessel is made from.

TruthInSunshine's picture

So they should probably do something before it hits that level?


Yield2Greatness's picture

Or just raise the level.  If the Japanese peasants will buy that Malarkey, then what's steel going to do about it.

jus_lite_reading's picture

When all else fails, raise the limit! ;) KAMAKAZI HO!

Bicycle Repairman's picture

Well they mis-spoke when they said the containment vessel was steel.

<One hurried check of a metallurgy book later>

It's a bad-ass alloy made of steel, tungsten and zirconium.  Good for up to 100,000 degrees centigrade.  They make comets out of this shit.  You could look it up. <seriously DON'T look it up.>

ColonelCooper's picture

Where do they sell comets?  I've been looking to buy one.  Then all my other moonbat buddies who don't believe a word of the shit they've been hearing and I can eat a couple ounces of shrooms, emasculate our selves, and ride our new comet to a world where unicorns actually do shit Skittles.

jeff montanye's picture

if you're going to get to meet skittles, the last thing you want to be is emasculated.

TruthInSunshine's picture

It's like watching paint dry, not having a live feed.

Nuclear, molten, bubbling radioactive paint.

slewie the pi-rat's picture



hi, TIS;  above you ask:  is # 2 on fire?  although that depends on what the meaning of "on fire" is, is, i would say that we do know that smoke is puring outa the hole in the side caused by a "pressure venting" last week, and that "something" is hotter'n the hinges of Hades, in camera, there.

TruthInSunshine's picture

It's not looking good.

I'm no fancy engineer or firefighter extraordinaire, but building No. 2 definitely looks like it's on fire, given the absolute eveneness of the IR pattern throughout the structure.

Commander Cody's picture

The heat from the reactor vessel, containment and the spent fuel pool is not being removed due to the failure of cooling systems.  Since warm air rises, it is being evenly distributed at higher elevations inside the reactor building.  Depending on the ability of the thermal imaging system to discern variations in such a wide heat field, it is somewhat positive that there is no significant heat in more discrete locations, such as the spent fuel pool, reactor vessel or containment.