Guardian Reports Core At Reactor 2 May Have Melted To Concrete Floor, Radioactive Lava Next?

Tyler Durden's picture

And another update from Fukushima on its route to the concrete dome, irradiated ground water, and a 100 km "no live zone" from the Guardian:

The radioactive core in a reactor at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power  plant appears to have melted through the bottom of its containment vessel and on to a concrete floor, experts say, raising fears of a major release of radiation at the site.

The warning follows an analysis by a leading US expert of radiation levels at the plant. Readings from reactor two at the site have been made public by the Japanese authorities and Tepco, the utility that operates it.

Richard Lahey, who was head of safety research for boiling-water reactors at General Electric when the company installed the units at Fukushima, told the Guardian workers at the site appeared to have "lost the race" to save the reactor, but said there was no danger of a Chernobyl-style catastrophe.

Workers have been pumping water into three reactors at the stricken plant in a desperate bid to keep the fuel rods from melting down, but the fuel is at least partially exposed in all the reactors.

At least part of the molten core, which includes melted fuel rods and zirconium alloy cladding, seemed to have sunk through the steel "lower head" of the pressure vessel around reactor two, Lahey said.

"The indications we have, from the reactor to radiation readings and the materials they are seeing, suggest that the core has melted through the bottom of the pressure vessel in unit two, and at least some of it is down on the floor of the drywell," Lahey said. "I hope I am wrong, but that is certainly what the evidence is pointing towards."

The good news is that the next step will not be a Chernobyl type explosion, or so the GE expert believes, but a far more "benign" radioactive lava escalation.

The major concern when molten fuel breaches a containment vessel is that it reacts with the concrete floor of the drywell underneath, releasing radioactive gases into the surrounding area. At Fukushima, the drywell has been flooded with seawater, which will cool any molten fuel that escapes from the reactor and reduce the amount of radioactive gas released.

Lahey said: "It won't come out as one big glob; it'll come out like lava, and that is good because it's easier to cool."

The drywell is surrounded by a secondary steel-and-concrete structure designed to keep radioactive material from escaping into the environment. But an earlier hydrogen explosion at the reactor may have damaged this.

So you see: there is no reason to worry, and it is everyone's patriotic duty to BTFD as the "QE3 on - QE3 off" daily speculation reaches a schizophrenic crescendo.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Alienated Serf's picture

uhoh, trav didn't say this post was sensationalist.  bad shit must be going down if he agrees.

Matte_Black's picture

someone has finally hit on a reliable bellweather for this thing.

we're fucked.

Sudden Debt's picture

yes, this is definitively a BEER MEETS GIRL moment.

chumbawamba's picture

Naw, this is great news.  Think of all the stupid people this will kill.

Can I interest you in a free ticket to Tokyo?

I am Chumbawamba.

T1000's picture

"I am pretty sure that there is enough above-ground radioactive material sitting in spent fuel pools and inside reactors to kill just about everyone. It will stay dangerous for over a million years, which is a lot longer than the expected lifetime of the nuclear power industry, or any industry, or any human civilization, or perhaps even the human race. When nuclear experts say that a nuclear reactor is safe, they can only mean that it is safe for the rest of the afternoon; beyond that they can't possibly have any actual data to support their claim."

And I thought they smelled bad on the outside.

narapoiddyslexia's picture

"...perhaps even the human race."

??? We're checking out pretty soon, I expect. Hate to offer an opinion but I don't think civilization can last for more than another generation or two then its a desert planet with an ever dwindling population. Maybe a few million will survive around Antarctica for a while. A thousand years at the most, and then the radiation won't be a danger to us anymore.

T1000's picture

I think we'll make it. And by "we", I mean the organism that has evolved to the present actuality that is a human being. "We" are actually quite old, like 500 million years old. We're constanlty changing and adapting. I don't know if we'll get past what's coming, but I reckon so in some form.

JLee2027's picture

Oh please don't start an evolution versus G debate here. 

T1000's picture


Proof we are God's creation:

It's the TEOTWAWKI. Get some Gravy Rainbow, bitches. 


jeff montanye's picture

500 million years ago it was 50 million years before millipedes appeared.

so yes.

Oh regional Indian's picture

To think we can fight a cycle as old as time itself stinnks of hubris.

And hubris is what has brought every prior experiment in human evolution to it's knees and then delivered the blow to the neck.

We've reached of not diminishing marginal utility but infinitesimal marginal utility.

It's okay to see it for what it is and where we are.

Calm, in the eye of the perfect storm.


franzpick's picture

My idea from last night has continuing appeal: a small abandoned mine in the CA foothills, around 1000' > MSL, with horizontal tunnels and a water source inside the mine.

Then, a view to the west from a flat, wooded plateau with tables and propane-generator powered campsites, lights, gear, for friends to come and stay and share the view of the quake dust, the tsunami or the clouds that will signal the start of the new world.

T1000's picture

Did you ever see the Planet of the Apes where there was a species of humanoids that lived underneath the planet in caves. After thousands of years, they developed massive brains and could control people with their minds. It. was. awesome.

Go for it!!

Kobe Beef's picture

Sounds livable. You dont work for FEMA by any chance? just joking.



tekhneek's picture


God freaks just remind of me advice god.

"I gave you free will, so use it exactly as I command you to!"

"Day 1: Create light. Day 4: Create light source"


You guys have got to check this shit out: You too Jesus guy.

d_senti's picture

Clearly someone doesn't grasp the concept of metaphor.

chumbawamba's picture

Are you so moronic to think the Sun is the only source of light in the Universe?

I am Chumbawamba.

CrazyCooter's picture

The modern world is about to hit apon the same rock into which all previous "advanced" civilizations sailed. In this case it just happens to be energy in this case as previously this may have been food or natural castrophe. In all cases, the system evolved can no longer sustain itself and has to "simplify" to survive.

This has been touched on at least a few times in the history of ZH with posts and to a much greater extent in comments.

On the time line you speak, "modern" standards of living will not persist. The math is pretty simple really. An average western lifestyle consumes enormous amounts of energy, of which almost all is non-renewable. A sustainable lifestyle is more along the lines of traditional "wood burning, animal labor" type stuff than todays "consumerist to landfill" type stuff. It doesn't have to be primative, but energy will be sufficiently important to not be pissed away in 1 hour commutes, throw away products, and such.

Even nuclear could only survive "thousands" of years where as almost all hydrocarbons are gone "tens" or "hundreds" depending.

The fact that BP was in the gulf of Mexico drilling in miles of water and crust for a test well should be a big fat red blinking indicator that there are probably not any cheaper alternatives. If you believe their are, then you should promptly short BP for being stupid and profit. While BP may be reckless, they are not stupid. And hydrocarbons going forward are simply going to become more and more expensive in real terms.

As is widely understood, this has serious economic implications. Which is the point; simply.



RichardP's picture


So, the iPad2 without wifi then??

MsCreant's picture

Thanks for the sanity crazy cooter.

RockyRacoon's picture

When it's the admittedly crazy people who begin to make sense we are on the road to perdition.

slewie the pi-rat's picture



"The fact that BP was in the gulf of Mexico drilling in miles of water and crust for a test well should be a big fat red blinking indicator that there are probably not any cheaper alternatives. If you believe their are, then you should promptly short BP for being stupid and profit. While BP may be reckless, they are not stupid."

i say BP was just fukin goin for the mother lode.  we know that. 

everything was ok til here, for me. the rest of the stuff was a well-expressed point of view.  v. reckless.  squared.  but if they "bring er in" they could be as "important" as if they'd moon-walked.

we've seen reckless tech investors, housing investors, banksters, money printing "elite" banksters, pols & goooooobermints, and now the freaking nuclear/elec. power industry, and i prob missed a few, here. 

if you don't know what i'm gonna say next, you probably never will.  the only thing the alternatives lacked was the ROI and the Super Money Jackpot they could just sell in a liquid punch-bowl market, or trade to take over more of the industry or move on another, or both, given corporate insider "reality".  and,  we just nationalize most all the real costs  of the mess and maybe a few "non-quantifiable" losses, too.  anything else would have to be considered_ _ _ _ _ _, right?


chumbawamba's picture

Geez, you people are pathetic.  All this doom mongering is ridiculous.

It's one thing to discuss things one might do to prepare for and mitigate any potential radiation pollution.  It's quite another to predict the end of the human species on Earth.  Although, with the stupidity running rampant here, it may not be such a bad thing, nor necessarily an eventuality we will avoid (due to said stupidity).

I am Chumbawamba.

RockyRacoon's picture

Doesn't say much for your prospects if you're hanging around with a bunch of pathetic folks, now does it?

For what it's worth, 'twas not I who junked ya.

Matte_Black's picture

Mr Wamba:

I have great respect for your obvious intellect. You are mischaracterizing this discussion, sir.

Quit eavesdropping on the conversation over at the kid's table. You are getting confused.

That is all.

chumbawamba's picture

"I am pretty sure that there is enough above-ground radioactive material sitting in spent fuel pools and inside reactors to kill just about everyone."

Yeah, I mischaracterized the discussion.  I thought serious topics were discussed at the adult table.  I guess I was wrong.  I'll go back to the kiddie table now.


ZH used to be a place where discussions and debates held pretty strictly to reality.  There were really smart people with different interests and expertise and we meshed and jibed and helped to bring enlightenment to those who sought.

Now, as someone pointed out a while ago, we really do seem deluged with a bunch of spineless, whiny, witless, hapless dupes.  We are inundated with pointless conversations and arguments that come right out of the pages of places like Huffington Post.

It was bound to happen, "jumping the shark".  At some point ZH reached critical mass and started to go mainstream.  In another 6 months this place will be a hopless idiot bin.

This cannot be explained away by paid agents of Cass Sunstein.  There are just too many of you.  This is just organic idiocy, sprouting out of control like weeds.  It's not worth laying down the cost to spray them.  It's time to let the field lay fallow for a few seasons.

I guess I'm saying goodbye.

Not all at once, and not just now, but over time my attachment to this place will dwindle as those fond memories of the early days lapse.

Yes, it was a very special place at one time, Zero Hedge.  But that place has moved on, somewhere else in the ether.  I'll find you there.

I am Chumbawamba.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

wait,  shane!  b4 you go, why not just tell us how much spent and unspent fuel (in tons) is at the site and where, ok? 

help us out, ole chum!  we need you!

Matte_Black's picture

Yes, you will brother. I understand. Til then.

Element's picture

The one thing I've noticed over the years (from going back and reading a Journal) is that our nostalgic memories tend to over-glamorize the past as better than it really was.

I suggest you go back and have an honest look at zh from two years ago.

You'll find it was you who changed.

i-dog's picture

Agreed. "The good old days" were not that good!

We (on ZH) are far more aware now of what is REALLY going on, and this is because of the continuing interchange between the fringe and the sceptics that will awaken both sides to something closer to the actual reality.

Long live diversity and free speech! Fuck the censors and elitists!

RockyRacoon's picture


1 Year 38 Weeks  -- chumba

1 Year 34 Weeks  -- me

I'd say we've seen about the same at this site.  Our perceptions differ, however.

We are just two different observers of the same auto accident.

mr_T's picture

You are ChupaPOLLAS,,, english trans (c*ck suckr) .... I am ... I am ... you aint shit..

Yen Cross's picture

You are really Missing Faceman, Murdoch, and Hannibal. It'sok big boy we have an injection to fix that.

chumbawamba's picture

On the other hand, George Peppard, Dirk Benedict and Dwight Schultz were real class acts; took the time to talk to us and give us their autographs even in between scenes.

Unlike Mr. T who was, I gotta say, a nigger.

I am Chumbawamba.

chumbawamba's picture

You know, I actually met Mr. T when I was a kid.  Talk about an asshole.  When I asked him for an autograph he demanded $5, "for Jerry's Kids".

I think I was 11.

Why don't you go offer Mr. T fie dolla to suck him off?

I am Chumbawamba.

Fearless Rick's picture

I am Chumbawamba.

No, you are the biggest ass-hole in the world.

ZerOhead's picture

Chummy is an acquired taste... but clearly haven't met me yet! :)

Cistercian's picture

 I like him too...but he is a bit out of control today.

  Of course, being out of control is one of his endearing characteristics.

ZerOhead's picture

He does have that quality about him doesn't he... but until you don't give a shit about junks you can never be truly free of the self imposed constraints of your ego and express your true thoughts here.

chumbawamba's picture

I am never out of control.

I am pushing in a very deliberate manner against walls that are just not there.  In other words, I am blowing right through them, but you all simply see the wall.

I am Chumbawamba.

Missing_Link's picture

Ah, so you're "WINNING!"

Charlie Sheen?  That you, bro?

chumbawamba's picture

Sorry, man, not me.  Charlie is the master.  I can only bang 5 gram rocks.

I am Chumbawamba.

RockyRacoon's picture

Oh.  I got it now.  You are the prescient one.  We are just rubes.  Thanks for the clarification.  Just how many times did yo momma drop you on your head?

chumbawamba's picture

Why did you insert yourself here just now?  So you could feel offended?  If it's that important for you, why don't you just go stand behind someone and wait for them to fart on you?