Japan Prepares To "Bury The Problem" Following News Of Uncontrolled Reactor 1 Chain Reactions

Tyler Durden's picture

And once again our prediction about Fukushima (namely the inevitable entombment of the entire facility in thousands of tons of concrete) is about to be realized. Bloomberg reports that Japan will consider pouring concrete into its crippled Fukushima atomic plant to reduce radiation and contain the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years. The reason for the admission of total defeat is the gradual comprehension that the worst case scenario has come to pass: "The risk to workers might be greater than previously thought because melted fuel in the No. 1 reactor building may be causing isolated, uncontrolled nuclear chain reactions, Denis Flory, nuclear safety director for the International Atomic Energy Agency, said at a press conference in Vienna." Not one to cover up the worst case outcome for a week, TEPCO only did so... for five days: "Radioactive chlorine found March 25 in the Unit 1 turbine building suggests chain reactions continued after the reactor shut down, physicist Ferenc Dalnoki-Veress of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Monterey, California, wrote in a March 28 paper." It's good thought"  Radioactive chlorine has a half-life of 37 minutes, according to the report." It appears Japan is willing to give up, and write off a several hundred square kilometer area, as nobody in their right mind will ever agree to move in next to a territory that, contrary to lies, er, promises, will not seep radioactivity in the soil and in the water. This is an unprecedented admission of defeat by the Japanese which unfortunately may be the only solution, which will certainly have major implications for the Japanese economy.

The now much expected spin on this last ditch effort:

Tokyo Electric mixed boron, an element that absorbs neutrons and hinders nuclear fission, with emergency cooling water to prevent accidental chain reactions, Kathryn Higley, head of nuclear engineering and radiation health physics at Oregon State University in Corvallis, said in an e-mail.

Dismantling the plant and decontaminating the site may take 30 years and cost Tokyo Electric more than 1 trillion yen ($12 billion), engineers and analysts said. The government hasn’t ruled out pouring concrete over the whole facility as one way to shut it down, Edano said at a press conference.

Dumping concrete on the plant would serve a second purpose: it would trap contaminated water, said Tony Roulstone, an atomic engineer who directs the University of Cambridge’s masters program in nuclear energy.

How anyone could think the outcome would be anything but following a brief look at the latest overflight of Fukushima is beyond us.

As for what happens after a concrete tomb, which increases the surrounding pressure by orders of magnitude, is put over what now appears is still a live fision reaction, well, we won't make any predictions. Suffice to say if historical precedent of how TEPCO has handled this situation to date is any indication, expect the sarcophagus to crack, and a 100 km "No Live Zone" radius to be extended around Fukushima in perpetuity.

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Shameful's picture

Bullish for concrete producers?

And really I think we all knew it would end this way.  After the reactors started exploding got to think might be hard to save them.

DeeDeeTwo's picture

Gonna be worse than Chenobyl... due to the casual, uncreative Japanese response. At 3 weeks the Russians had 10,000 people on site building a liquid nitrogen cooling system by tunnelling underneath the reactor, baby. Whatever the Japanese authorities are saying... just ignore.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/7731?page=1

 

Carl Spackler-the Creator of Spackler Feather Bent's picture

FYI - Everyone thinks that the sarcophagus is sealed and airtight, but that is just a misconception.  Chernobyl sarcophagus actually has large holes and openings.  The main purpose of the sarcophagus is to shield the radioactive area from rain and wind that can carry away further particles into the surrounding area.

In Chernobyl's sarcophagus birds frequently fly in and out of all the openings.  It is just like an umbrella versus a sealed container.

avonaltendorf's picture

Concrete sarcophagus strikes me as absurd. The cooling pipes are in communication with turbine buildings and seaway underneath. Do they propose to pour concrete over everything? - including a couple acres of water?

Burying the reactors and SFPs guarantees more fission and explosive atmospheric contamination above ground. Impossible to bury all 4 reactors, SFPs, and turbine halls simultaneously. Argh.

edwardscpa's picture

Fight fire with fire and nuke it then.  All kidding aside, maybe stack a bunch of TNT in a line along the backside of the reactors and blow that shit out into the ocean.  Scatter the core and stop the chain reaction I'd imagine.  Of course you'd blow radioactive material in the air and ocean...  I'll leave it to the physicists to debate the wisdom of that.

LowProfile's picture

I'll leave it to the physicists to debate the wisdom of that.

Trust me, that's not necessary.

10kby2k's picture

I can't take posts about nuclear issues seriously from a 3 eyed person.

Silver Alert's picture

Why not? He must have experience with being irradiated and then mutating.

Fish Gone Bad's picture

Here is an idea, get all the terminally ill people in the country (or countries), and ask them to volunteer driving heavy earth moving equipment to dismantle the damn thing.  The people will get irradiated and die, but not before they die, they will help out their country.  This is a kinder, gentler version of the Kamikaze.

Matte_Black's picture

A blast from the past shows its ass.

Think we could get a few other disposable demographics in there while you're at it?

There's a lot unemployed fisherman down in the gulf. What about them?

Hell... Detroit... the remains of Now Orleans.... christ... think of it.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Breaking as of 1:35 am EST, March 31.

Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gunderson has new video update out. This guy is very good at presenting the facts, and then gives his theories as to what's happening, why, and what the possible and likely outcomes might be.

  • 200 tons of water are being ported to and 200 tons of very concentrated nuclear contamination are being emitted from Fukushima every DAY.
  • He says it's known as "feed & bleed."
  • He says nuclear engineers have never planned for an event like this. He said a month ago, 1% core loss was planned for - this is 70%.
  • He said nuclear engineers never anticipated a "fuel pool burning," and a major study done by a reputable scientist proves that a fuel pool burning results in 137,000 casualties from lung cancer.
  • He says 200 million beq of nuclear matter have been found in each 3' x 3' section of soil up to 25 miles from Fukushima. This is much higher than Chernobyl.

Very grim.

A must see (top video, March 31st):

http://www.fairewinds.com/multimedia

SilverRhino's picture

I watched your video.  It is NOT 200 MILLION Becquerels.   At 2:14 in the video he cites 2,000,000 Becquerels / M^2

Everything else is dead on and 2M Bec is more than enough to force evacuations.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Sorry about that. I was typing it while watching the video in another window.

What about the "burning spent fuel pool?"

Am I right to say this is looking worse than Chernobyl based on what he remarked upon?

johnQpublic's picture

heres a question for our nuclear expert stafff....

with 40-100 picocuries /liter measured in the rain in pennsylvania, how long before it rains enuf i shouldnt use my swimming pool?

80 days til I-131 decays out of the water

how long do we avoid our swimming pools?

months,years,decades? more than I-131 floating around out there

SilverRhino's picture

One it's too cold in Pa to swim so you're safe there.  

Two, worry about the Cs-137 amounts.   When you get some good measurements on those then we'll be albe to start calculations. :)

 

slewie the pi-rat's picture

 

 

t.y., TIS!  also on utoob, now.

cbxer55's picture

Its not an eye, its an entry wound!  ;-)

DeeDeeTwo's picture

The Japanese can build you an IPod... but the Russians can do heavy lifting.

Here is more on their Chernobyl reposnse: "A plan was devised: to freeze the earth around the reactor with liquid nitrogen, and then build a heat exchanger in the ground beneath it to cool the core and prevent meltdown. To freeze the ground, all the liquid nitrogen in the western Soviet Union was sent to Chernobyl: when it didn't arrive quickly enough, director Brukhanov received a late-night telephone call from the minister in charge of the operation. 'Find the nitrogen,' he was told, 'or you'll be shot.'".

Maybe shooting a TEPCO manager or two would spark an idea better than hosing it down with water, baby.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2006/mar/26/nuclear.russia

 

Rusty Shorts's picture

I'm no geologist, but take note of the fixed camera position relative to the Fukushima Power Plant before and after quake ... between :25 and, well the rest of the video.

These images imply a major geological deformation (sinking) of the area around Fukushima.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FobcdNqlcVw

MsCreant's picture

Rusty,

I have not taken the time to post something to you, but I have been blown away by some of the stuff you are finding and leaving for us in other threads. The stuff with the water coming up during the quake, OMFG. Good finds, good catch. That prefecture does look screwed, BAAAAD.

This one too seems to be a very solid record of things as they were.

Thanks for posting.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Yeah, that video of the water in that Japanese Park during the quake, coming up from the shifting earth...great stuff.

gmj's picture

Maybe the camera moved or rotated.

Rusty Shorts's picture

Maybe terra firma moved or rotated.

Matte_Black's picture

Yes, Rusty. They wouldn't have moved the camera for lots of reasons.

I think you are right.

Good post.

defender's picture

Thanks, Rusty.  I can't remember where I saw it, but there was an article that said that side of the island dropped by over a foot from the earthquake. 

MrSteve's picture

NOVA / PBS reported parts of the Japanese coast sank  1 meter/3 feet.

full report at:

http://video.pbs.org/video/1863101157/

 

moneymutt's picture

so someone said plant was on bedrock, it looks to me the sea walls sunk in relation to plant, were they on material that compressed/settled? And what geology is camer mountedon compared to plant that they should move differently. Unless some sort of fault right between plant and camera, any difference in elevation between tw I would attribute to differential settlement, on are on solid rock that did not move, another area on wet sand that did sink/liquify etc. 

Hicham's picture

but they didn't even end up using that liquid nitrogen did they?

dark pools of soros's picture

just put it all in some old space shuttles and shoot it to mercury..  just hope they dont explode in the sky..  that never happens

kaiserhoff's picture

Yes, the site is, to say the least, difficult, and the aftershocks show that the whole damn thing is destined to fall into the ocean and eventually be subducted.  It's just the next few centuries that may be a problem.  The sheer volume of the spent fuel rods will fuck them over. 

They need a large crane, preferably remote controlled and the balls to load this shit on barges and sink it, or maybe not.  We at least need some original thinking and a few sane options.  Burial just increases the rubble pile. 

wisefool's picture

the navy has rail gun technology. Put in a plan to contain this thing for 20 years. During that time build another nuke plant and a rail gun designed to throw this stuff into the sun. One lead capsule at a time, gathered, loaded and fired by a bunch of wall-e's. Who load themselves into the gun as they they are damaged/EOL. Pull every hard science PhD currently writing HFT aglo's, reits, CDOs, MBS, etc to do it.

Then deliver a Saturn V to the location. Hook a chain to the rail gun and throw it into the sun too.

I am <50% sarc> with this. it will take several generations to clean this up, so lots of options are actually on the table. 

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WALL-E

Bad Asset's picture

yep, rail guns, lead capsules, and robots ... in the mean time they can't keep the water pumps operational.

wisefool's picture

I know we need immeadiate containment/control but somebody needs to get the big picture 100 year time frame going or there is no point at all, for anyone one on the planet. Whether it is this reactor or the next one to go tits up. Take all those global warming grant writing scientists and put them on this. Same tech would be used to clean up chernobyl.

And if we do it right we could use the launches as a mass driver to alter our orbit enough to dodge some of the near earth objects that we KNOW are going to be too close for comfort over the next 100 years.

 

Henry Ford would say (para) "No problem is all that difficult when you break it up into manageble tasks"

Bad Asset's picture

We probably should just invest everything we have in geothermal, it's slightly safer.  In 100 years I'm sure Monsanto will have developed a bacteria that eats radioactive material.

RichardP's picture

 

Radiation can't be broken up into manageable tasks when it kills you if you get too close.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

The main purpose of the sarcophagus is to shield the radioactive area from rain and wind that can carry away further particles into the surrounding area.

The Battle for Chernobyl shows water coming in the sarcophagus from rather large openings.

Antarctico's picture

Here is a fairly freaky video of the Chernobyl sarcophagus undergoing maintenance work in 2006 with guys in white plastic suits and oxygen tanks crawling all over the inside of the damn thing.  This is not a solid structure.

whatsinaname's picture

Death by trial and error !! Is that what they want to do ?

Meanwhile, it seems the Chernobyl sarcophagus is also falling apart but Ukraine & belarus have no money to fix it !!

Bob Dobbs's picture

The Soviets did not use the liquid N cooling system.  The temperature suddenly dropped off (the fuel combined with the sand in the walls) as the lava poued into the various spaces.  Instead they filled the void with concrete.

nkktwotwozero's picture

> Instead they filled the void with concrete.

What void cant concrete fill?

The one in my heart?

--

Brought to you by Carl's Junior!

 

PenGun's picture

 The Church of the Subgenius is not amused.