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Nuclear Expert: "Fukushima Has 24 Hours To Avoid A Core Meltdown Scenario"

Tyler Durden's picture


In an interview with Mark Hibbs, a Berlin-based senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a nonprofit think tank, Newsmax magazine asks - what happens next at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. The answer according to the nuclear expert, is that as Fukushima is now well on its way to a full core-melt nuclear accident, a worst case scenario could possibly lead to the same results last seen in 1986 Chernobyl.

Below we present a brief overview of the Fukushima plant from Wikipedia:

The Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant (Fukushima I NPP, 1F), often referred to as Fukushima Dai-ichi, is a nuclear power plant located in the town of Okuma in the Futaba District of Fukushima Prefecture. With six separate units located on site with a combined power of 4.7 GW, Fukushima I is one of the 25 largest nuclear power stations in the world. Fukushima I is the first nuclear plant to be constructed and run entirely by The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO).

Fukushima II Nuclear Power Plant, 11.5 kilometres (7.1 mi) to the south, is also run by TEPCO.

Unit Type First Criticality Electric Power
Fukushima I - 1 BWR March 26, 1971 460 MW
Fukushima I - 2 BWR July 18, 1974 784 MW
Fukushima I - 3 BWR March 27, 1976 784 MW
Fukushima I - 4 BWR October 12, 1978 784 MW
Fukushima I - 5 BWR April 18, 1978 784 MW
Fukushima I - 6 BWR October 24, 1979 1,100 MW
Fukushima I - 7 (planned) ABWR October, 2013 1,380 MW
Fukushima I - 8 (planned) ABWR October, 2014 1,380 MW

So what happens next? First, Hibbs explains precisely what already has taken place:
“What happened in Japan is very alarming because it would appear . . . that about 2:30 this afternoon Japan time, when the earthquake struck . . . three of the reactors that were operating were disenabled because of a loss of offsite power that was caused by the earthquake.”

The Japanese situation appears to be roughly analogous to the Three Mile Island incident in the United States, where authorities struggled for days to contain an improperly cooled reactor core but were able to avert a widespread release of nuclear material.

“We were in a situation as I recall then very similar to where we are now, where we were told by news media in 1979 that there was a core melt accident unfolding, we didn’t know how serious it would become, and what would happen,” Hibbs tells Newsmax.

At least one of the reactors in Japan, and perhaps more, “ are on the path of a core-melt accident. It’s called a loss of coolant accident. . . . And it’s up to the Japanese authorities, together with the industries in that country, to find a way to stem this problem,” he said.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton confirmed that the United States is trying to help alleviate the situation. "We just had our Air Force assets in Japan transport some really important coolant to one of the nuclear plants," Clinton said, according to the Associated Press.

The Japanese reactors are designed to drop neutron-blocking control rods into the core as soon as the plants detect a seismic disturbance. These controls apparently functioned normally. But even after the procedure, scientists say a base level of heat continues to flow, and coolant is needed to constrain those temperatures.

Unfotunately, Japan does not have much time:
Asked how long Japanese scientists have to correct the problem to avoid a core meltdown, Hibbs tells Newsmax that it depends on system design, adding, “it could be a day, plus or minus 10 hours.”

“After a while, with the heat building up in there, and lack of coolant, you’re going to see damage in your fuel, the cladding, the metal container around the nuclear material, begins to buckle or balloon or break, and after a little while you’ll get a situation where the fuel falls apart, melts, and falls into the core, and then you’ve got a classical core melt accident like you had in Three Mile Island that you had in the United States in '79.”

Hibbs spoke with Japanese government officials who told him the force of the tsunami was so severe that the water may have flooded the reactors,  power generators, and cooling mechanisms, disabling the equipment. "Which means they have to resort to basically a military-type exercise, to rush in to the devastated site equipment that they can quickly hook up to the reactor to get power in there and start this emergency equipment, to get cooling water into that core and prevent that fuel from overheating.

“And if they can’t do that,” he told Newsmax, “then you’re going to have this meltdown.”

They have 24 hours or so to avoid a core meltdown, he says. But if one occurs, two scenarios could follow: The good outcome would mirror what happened at Three Mile Island, while the bad one could involve what he called a “Chernobyl scenario, where the damage to the reactor was such that the integrity of the structures were damaged.

“There was an explosion and other things happened in there, that opened up the reactor so the inventory of radioactive material . . . went into the atmosphere and generated this deadly plume that we know happened in Chernobyl.

“So that is the ultimate worst-case scenario. Nobody is saying that’s going to happen. Nobody is even saying we’re going to have a core meltdown. But we have a window of time now. We don’t know how much is left — but the Japanese authorities and the government and all the agencies that they can muster are working overtime to get cooling systems on that site powered and working.”

The April 1986 Chernobyl disaster cost an estimated 4,000 lives. More than 330,000 Russians had to be relocated because of contamination.

But Hibbs says, “A lot of worst-case things would have to happen for us to get that far.”

Hibbs said the Japanese right now are fighting the clock to contain the heating.


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Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:46 | 1042458 UGrev
UGrev's picture

Shit just got R E A L. My thoughts and prayers for all those affected by this.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:21 | 1042610 tempo
tempo's picture

Never let a disaster/problem go to waste...QE3+++ to be announced.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:34 | 1042669 Cinfultreat
Cinfultreat's picture

How is this not Bullish?  Classic sell the news buy the rumor!


News - Japan self destructing, Market opens down

Rumor - Japan will need to spend Benzillions to rebuild

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 07:49 | 1043806 ReeferMac
ReeferMac's picture

It's disgusting, sad, and 100% totally true and correct, unfortunately.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:39 | 1042680 dryam
dryam's picture

Replying to antagonistic trolls promotes their behavior. 

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:56 | 1042757 rocker
rocker's picture

Responding to Newsmax is about as bad as following Robert Prechter's Bullshit on Elliott   I am speaking from past experience. And yes, I was a dumb ass once for both. Fool me once, shame on you and me. Fool me twice, not going to fuckn happen.

Not being a Nuclear scientist I can assure all that Japan is much smarter than Russia in Nuclear Power. And while their could me a melt down I feel that it is most likely not going to happen. First, they called for help which they will get. Russia did not. Everything that can be done to prevent a further problem is being done. So, cross your fingers if you like. But there is no use in listening to some asshole from Newsmax who would not know what real news is. But they have lot's of shit to sell you. 

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:07 | 1042803 maximin thrax
maximin thrax's picture

Yes. Completely different plant designs. Chernobyl had woefully inadequate to totally absent containment.

From PBS "Frontline":

All the Chernobyl reactors were of a design that the Russians call the RBMK--natural uranium-fueled, water-cooled, graphite-moderated--a design that American physicist and Nobel laureate Hans Bethe has called "fundamentally faulty, having a built-in instability." Because of the instability, an RBMK reactor that loses its coolant can under certain circumstances increase in reactivity and run progressively faster and hotter rather than shut itself down. Nor were the Chernobyl reactors protected by containment structures like those required for U.S. reactors, though they were shielded with heavy concrete covers.


Without question, the accident at Chernobyl was the result of a fatal combination of ignorance and complacency. "As members of a select scientific panel convened immediately after the...accident," writes Bethe, "my colleagues and I established that the Chernobyl disaster tells us about the deficiencies of the Soviet political and administrative system rather than about problems with nuclear power."

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:00 | 1042946 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

That quote would work wonderfully on an entirely different subject.

"As members of a select economic panel convened immediately after the...accident," writes Bethe, "my colleagues and I established that the Wall Street/Federal Reserve disaster tells us about the deficiencies of the American political and administrative system rather than about problems with capitalism."

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:51 | 1043067 prophet
prophet's picture

Completely agree,  lack of proper controls and enforcement is what allowed it to go too far.  Prudential supervision is a known joke.  Thousands of people are hurt everyday by financial institutions executing egregious business practices.  So much so that those behaviors are common practice.  I see it first hand everyday.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:59 | 1043167 PeterSchump
PeterSchump's picture

"egregious business practices", i.e., fraud

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:50 | 1043295 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Personally, I am offended by the egregiously uppity word egregious being banded about egreiously here tonight in this awe-gust fah-room.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 08:58 | 1043862 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

you mean bandied. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 04:53 | 1043702 Spirit Of Truth
Spirit Of Truth's picture

Looks like there was a meltdown and reactor explosion:

Prayers up for Japan.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 05:44 | 1043733 Michael
Michael's picture

The reactor in Japan blew 45 minutes ago.

Oil will be over $200/barrel come Monday morning if they don't stop the Federal Reserve Corporation margin funny money by then.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 08:02 | 1043816 Pegasus Muse
Pegasus Muse's picture

The TwitVid at the bottom of this article that shows material escaping from the plant.  Cannot tell if it is coming from a containment facility or another building.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 08:31 | 1043836 GBruenetti
GBruenetti's picture

The explosion produced a very fast shockwave (visible on the video), so it was most probably not steam from inside the containment but a hydrogen explosion stemming from radiolysed steam outside the reactor/turbine containment (but inside the building hull). Thus it blew the outer building structure away and the steam could escape (hence the large white cloud afterwards).

There are however pictures now where you can see the steel skeleton of the building still standing and - much more important - no ongoing steam or smoke escape. So while the coolant pumps will be damaged and a core melt is inevitable or even underway already, the containment seems to hold - for now.

The wind is forecast to turn south - to Tokyo - in two days. Until then they better had the situation under control somehow. At the moment everything blows out into the pacific.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 08:51 | 1043855 sushi
sushi's picture

If you examine that shock wave it moves direct, straight up and appears to have a form of lens at the top of it which then commences to spread. This is then followed by a debris cloud.

My reading on this is that an accumulation of hydrogen would have resulted in a radial blast - the building would have erupted radially.

I interpret the direct, straight up jet with the "lensing" as the cicular top of the containment blowing off with the building cladding blowing away subsequent to that.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 09:03 | 1043868 jeff montanye
jeff montanye's picture

wonder if someone is going over the five year plan for combatting global warming, achieving energy independence, etc. etc. with some cyber whiteout everywhere it had "aggressively increase nuclear power"?

next siting near the san andreas will likely be a touch more tricky.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 09:18 | 1043900 Bendromeda Strain
Bendromeda Strain's picture

Yup - there goes that strategy for a generation.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 09:13 | 1043885 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

Japanese national authorities are holding their next Press Conference.

You can follow it here:

[link to]

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 09:16 | 1043897 Spalding_Smailes
Spalding_Smailes's picture

Fallout Map: link to

10 days to reach the USA. Japan says meltdown possible at nuclear plant

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 10:16 | 1044065 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Good links the last day or two, Spalding.  Thanks.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:28 | 1043122 Milestones
Milestones's picture

Good pickup.     Milestones

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:53 | 1043068 CitizenPete
CitizenPete's picture

Correct.  Thank you for posting this.  Too many folks are comparing the two (incorrectly).

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:04 | 1043412 Triggernometry
Triggernometry's picture

Correct, Chernobyl's RBMK design had a positive void coefficient; as coolant water boiled, absorption cross-section decreased thereby increasing thermal output and causing coolant to boil faster. Once the reactor fell into this positive feedback loop it was impossible to stop with the resources available on-site even if they had worked properly. The explosions were caused by the release of superheated graphite moderator, which spontaneously combusts on contact with air.

Fukushima is a different design, but its a different problem as well. Even with a negative void coefficient the core gives off decay heat; unless removed its just a matter of time before the fuel gets hot enough to compromise its cladding and then the core itself. Should coolant be leaking, our delivery of extra coolant will only buy more time, and not much at that.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:32 | 1043453 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

They have power. It's rudundant resources. They don't have coolant feeds!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 05:56 | 1043739 malikai
malikai's picture

News footage seems to indicate a steam explosion at that unit. They were detecting Cs137 and I131 on the grounds prior to the explosion. It appears a meltdown is well underway.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:12 | 1042818 george
george's picture

I remember when some supersmart guy was saying the only option to stop the oil leak in the gulf was to detonate small nuclear bombs. I'm done pooping my pants speculating on worst case scenario's.

My thought's and prayers go out to Japan.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:17 | 1043002 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Thing is... it's still leaking in the gulf.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:52 | 1043299 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

And seven billion souls are leaking every day too.   Some twenty times day, such as pregnant women and drunk people.   If you have an issue with petroleum leaking into the oceans, which cover some 70 percent of the planet some few miles deep, bitch to Allah.   The rest of us want to drive from A to B air conditioned and rocking it out to our favorite jam, or NPR, or Hannity, or whatever. Nuf said.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:29 | 1043353 dark pools of soros
dark pools of soros's picture

so if you want the oil in your car why protect the jackasses for wasting it on the seafloor?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:41 | 1043373 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

If you wanna make an om.....oh nevermind.     The help is always found wanting, unless and until you get one that'll lift up her (or bigotry of that sort from me) skirts in a moment of need.    Or maybe gneed, in 80's parlance.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 02:22 | 1043517 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

A nice healthy dose of gamma rays over a couple off weeks in the prevailing weather patterns could help. You idiot! Do you understand the damage that could happen to your body? These radioactive particles attach to your clothing,food,water. They destroy every cell in your body. You don't even feel it. Two weeks later you are shitting blood, and picking clumps of hair from your head.Neutrons finding a core!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 02:26 | 1043526 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

TimeOutTokyo: Reports confirm that 2 people have died at Fukushima nuclear reactor 1, and 1 person at nuclear reactor 2

Nuclear Authorities: Nuclear Reactor May Be Experiencing A Meltdown
TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Japanese nuclear authorities said Saturday afternoon the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear reactor 240 kilometers north of Tokyo may be experiencing a meltdown after Friday's massive earthquake damaged the cooling system.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:30 | 1042849 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

Don't even know anything about Newsmax, but yeah, it's doubtful that there would be a meltdown. Increased radiation was expected from the vapour venting they announced earlier a few hours ago. 

The "special coolant" (Probably boric acid) that Clinton said the US delivered never arrived because the order was cancelled, probably by the Japanese authorities after they sourced their own. If they can't cool down the reaction, we would see explosions and fires. Not fission explosions obviously, but explosions from the burning of secondary materials that make up the power station from the intense heat - just like Chernobyl. Haven't seen any evidence of that in the news. Yet.


Another chance to see where the radiation debris will fall if there is a major meltdown in Fukushima (Can't believe not a single news or govt agency has picked this up yet) :

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:36 | 1042885 Eternal Student
Eternal Student's picture

+1. Especially about the jet stream gif. I agree; this is the info which needs to get out. And for that reason, it probably won't.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:37 | 1043041 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

Cheers. Just worked out that time taken for the debris to cross the Pacific on the jetstream is roughly 29 to 38 hours. More than I expected. 

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:13 | 1042992 MarkS
MarkS's picture

There are a lot of scenarios and radioactive vapor isn't necessarily all that radioactive.  I'm not saying it's good just that a lot would have to be vented and as it cooled it's more likely affect a close area rather than get into the jet stream and get carried afar and if it did would be diluted as it spread.  I'm no expert but, I remember my old days plotting the effects of nuclear blasts and calcualting the plume (for college credit!) and I don't think it would be that great of a danger.

Nuclear reactors in the west are pretty safe.  You get more radiation standing on the blacktop in the parking lot of a nuclear plant than you do inside the plant itself.

FYI, They did most everything wrong at 3 Mile Island PA and it still didn't melt down.  My power plants Prof was one of the experts called in to fix/solve the problem and he went through it step by step with us.  The level of overengineering in these plants is pretty thorough so lets hope they solve it quickly.

I'm not panicking yet...



Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:32 | 1043034 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

Absolutely agree on all your points. Venting is localized. The only real danger is a meltdown that would be hot enough to spew radioactive debris up to the jet stream (+23,000ft) directly above these reactors. I've seen dissipation patterns in the sub-tropic stream, and unfortunately once it reaches that height it only takes a few hours (29hrs to 38hrs at this time of year) to travel in the dense clouds to landfall on the West coast.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:05 | 1043092 thedrickster
thedrickster's picture

The reactor shut down, it's residual heat now at issue.

Think incredibly radioactive molten metal cooling to slag, not BOOM.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:47 | 1043149 johnnyj01
johnnyj01's picture

I have worked at a nuclear power plant for 25 years.  A BWR no less, just like the Japanese plant in question.  General Electric holds the patent on BWR technology so it has to be one of theirs.


The request for "coolant" is very strange and I believe, most lilely in error.  Phrased by some communications representative from the compay that has no technical knowledge.  They built the plant on the coast to use the ocean as a heat sink.  They don't need coolant, they need coolant pumped into the reactor core.  The emergency diesel generators are designed to be able to do just that (only need 1 to do job for two reactors typically).  The problem according to one article is that the tsunami wave flooded the diesels.  It seems like it may be an older reactor without watertight doors on the DG rooms (newer ones have this feature that allows DG's to run with water flooding up to the roof of the building).  This coupled with a loss of offsite AC power is causing the trouble: called a station blackout.  If they get AC power restored, all is well.  If they don't, the core will likely melt.  Big trouble.

The only possible "coolant" that would could need delivered would be a boron solution, but this too is highly unlikely as the site is required to maintain an ample supply of this onsite. 


What they need is the DG's repaired, offsite power restored, or another working DG(s) delivered.  They should be able to make one of these happen.


Even if the core melts totally (like TMI) the containment system will contain the radioactive material.  I personally knew rad pro techs who surveyed TMI after the accident.  Acccording to radiation release to speak of.  We cannot have an accident like Chernobyl.  We (Japan too) moderate with water vs. flamable graphite which was instrumental in the explosion.  We operate on the safe side of the reactivity curve where reactor power goes down with a loss of moderator.  We have containment walls that are made of concrete and are several feet thick.  Many other differences that make this (Chernoble accident) not plausible in western US style reactors.


Proof in the Pudding: I'm within the emergency exposure zone of my plant and I sleep just fine at night.


Feels good to finally give back to ZH community in a subject that I actually know something about.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:56 | 1043165 Unlawful Justice
Unlawful Justice's picture

Thanks Johnny

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:00 | 1043166 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

I get where you're coming from, but TMI was in fact a near-miss that could have been an unbelievable disaster.  There was puddled molten metal on the floor, which in several more hours would have caused a failure.  In other words the containment vessel, itself, DID fail, and only the containment building kept the fuel from dispersing (likely as superheated steam).

The best part: No one knew the fuel had melted, or that the containment vessel had gone.

From the Smithsonian Institute of American History (I've seen the actual pictures taken by the first robots in, but too lazy to find them now):

So let's not misrepresent how safe a PWR is in a loss of coolant scenario.  It's not Chernobyl.  But it can be a very, very serious accident.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:42 | 1043287 johnnyj01
johnnyj01's picture

Agreed the core totally melted and breached the reactor pressure vessel.  However, under the vessel is the concrete containment building (10 feet or so of reinforced concrete) but the kicker is this concrete rests on bedrock.  The "nuclear pile" would have to melt through the entire bedrock layer to go anywhere.  The Rasmussen report and numerous NRC studies have proven that it is not plausible for a major Chernobyl type release.  However, nothing is without risk.


THE ENTIRE CORE MELTED AT TMI AND NOTHING HAPPENED!  THE OPERATORS DID EVERYTHING WRONG.  If they would have been asleep, the plant  would have prevented anyting from happening.  Operator training has been greatly and painfully ehhanced since then: trust me , I've felt the pain for many years.


I really do believe that these pants are safe.  This "station blackout" is about the only thing that will cause the core to melt.  I find is suprising that the plant design allowed the DG rooms to flood.  Any plant I have seen has watertight doors to prevent flood impairment to levels above the design basis flood level.


Nothing is without risk.  Like my high school chemistry teacher said.  The alternative is to LTBFITD.  (Let the Bastards Freese in the Dark!)



Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:51 | 1043298 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

Your comments quiet fear noise. Thanks.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:44 | 1043378 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Engineers rule.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 03:05 | 1043583 Rick64
Rick64's picture

 No media hype, thanks.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 05:44 | 1043737 Dont Taze Me Bro
Dont Taze Me Bro's picture

Thanks for explaining that Johnny :)

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:01 | 1043171 traderjoe
traderjoe's picture


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:07 | 1043185 Cursive
Cursive's picture



Thanks, bro.  Enjoyed the info.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:31 | 1043215 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Thanks for the above very helpful info.



So far, everything I've said has been correct.  Note the time of the above post.  Pure speculation on my part at that point.

Confirms a loss of offsite power and loss of EDGs and the fact that EDGs are being / have been flow in.  You can always rely on a nuke hater "expert" making statements that "We only have hours to avoid a meltdown, and the outcome will either be TMI or Chernobyl." 


Or, not.  Power + pumps + water = everyone who doesn't understand please take a fucking valium.

There's also this:

Tokyo Electric Power Company said that emergency diesel generators started as expected, but then stopped inexplicably after an hour and all emergency power was lost, leading them to notify the government of a potential "emergency" situation, in which local authorities could take precautionary measures with the nearby communities and evacuate them if necessary. About nine hours later, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said that three of four mobile power supply modules had arrived at the plant to supply emergency power and engineers were connecting the cables. Other supply modules were arriving via air. NISA noted that emissions from the exhaust stack showed no increase in radioactivity.


Next, search for and read the rest of what I've written today on this subject in the various posts by Tyler.  Or, be scared if you want to.  You pick. 

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:33 | 1043257 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

I'm no nuke hater, I just don't pretend that reactor accidents are safe, particularly during natural catastrophes that aren't even over yet.

Folks here will understand.  Perspective is all.  Very few know what we're dealing with, and in many instances engineers in the biz are in love with the technology and very defensive about it...which makes sense given irrational attacks, etc.  But this site is about perspective. 

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:39 | 1043278 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

I don't recall using the word "safe" anywhere.  Did I?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:38 | 1043369 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

To put this in 80's Charlie Sheen time warp perspective, it is less about perspective than about gnarlitude or radicality.    Anyway, it isn't about precise statements of probability and statistics generated by genius IQ scientists and engineers founded on nondisproven radically trustworthy laws of physics.   Any screenwriter worth his salt knows they should be treated badly in the script, you know, despite the fact that every comfort we enjoy depends on their dedication to facty, mathy, reality stuff.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:25 | 1043435 Widowmaker
Widowmaker's picture

Excellent perspective when the rest of us are all piss and vinegar.

Also a prime example of how valuable/tricky redundant power can be, even to the pros.. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 02:05 | 1043502 Idiot Savant
Idiot Savant's picture

Thanks Johnny! The vast amount of knowledge on ZH never ceases to amaze me.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:50 | 1042927 victor82
victor82's picture

Dude. It could have been worse. He could have pulled it from WorldNutDaily.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:07 | 1042972 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

Dude. Reuters just picked up the story! I really am not looking forward to waking up and reading the news tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:08 | 1043097 Subprime JD
Subprime JD's picture

Zerohedge can be alarmist at times. Classic example is the gulf oil spill forecasts of doom.


The title of the article should be "Fukushima MAY have 24 hours to avoid a potential core meltdown scenario"



Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:49 | 1043153 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Indeed, no need to worry.   This earthquake is just the beginning part of the 2012 scenario, where the earth's magnetic field reversal or a zygzysy or whatever causes the anchorings of the continents to melt so they slide around and the oceans come to cover everything and John Cusack improbably makes it to the Illuminati ships in the Himalayas just in time to almost kill them then save them from crashing into the north face of Everest.   Sorry I go off track.  That bitch reactor is going to be under a few thousand meters of sea water pretty soon.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:55 | 1043306 goldfish1
goldfish1's picture

The idea has some potential. The screenplay needs a bit of work. Casting = brilliant.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:16 | 1042996 the PTB
the PTB's picture

Getting "help" to the Fukushima I will involve more than driving down the road.  Much of the infrastructure in the area is, er, compromised.  As long as the core melt is not vented to the atmosphere all they will have to do is bury the mess under a mountain of concrete and start over.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:43 | 1043055 YHC-FTSE
YHC-FTSE's picture

Sounds about right. 

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:42 | 1043286 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

First off, while it may be spelled "nuclear" it is pronounced new cue lar, but all together.  The pronunciation is endorsed even by the IRS.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 08:20 | 1043828 tmosley
Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:24 | 1042619 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

I will pray tonight to Budda to give Nirvana to the dead,

I will pray tonight to Thor to give a sharp axe to all those who died in battle,

I will pray tonight to Krishna to give a golden elephant to those who died while being young,

I will pray tonight to Cthulhu to save me from my self

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:32 | 1042649 homersimpson
homersimpson's picture

Pray to God first and you won't have to pray to those other.. oh never mind.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:46 | 1043145 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

THIS is the Homer Simpson avatar that matters on ZH.   No wonder they junked you.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:49 | 1043154 Buckaroo Banzai
Buckaroo Banzai's picture

looking at the number of junks you collected... since when did Zero Hedge start attracting so many militant atheists?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:47 | 1043289 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

I think it was the spelling.   Allah is fashionable now.   It cannot be criticised else some illbegotten brainfart following a fartwa and hoping for a 72x reverse gangbang comes for you.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:43 | 1042856 Shell Game
Shell Game's picture


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:05 | 1042963 Twindrives
Twindrives's picture

Where's big mouth Barry Obama?  Still hiding in the closet over the MENA crisis?   This guy is never around when the SHTF.   Worthless. 

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 03:27 | 1043604 RichardP
RichardP's picture

If you don't see it, it doesn't exist, right?  The majority of the work any president does is never known to the public. That is the point of having agencies and departments whose heads report to the president.  The president gets most of his work done through them.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:43 | 1043143 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

NO and NO.    Chernobyl was a GRAPHITE reactor, i.e. full of very burnable carbon.   No plume of such magnitude is possible from this.    Also, Chernobyl didn't have a secondary containement.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:31 | 1043256 Tail Dogging The Wag
Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

Financial meltdown in Japan and now a very possible nuclear meltdown to go with it. I feel powerless to help. What's next?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 03:50 | 1043627 cossack55
cossack55's picture

Charlie Sheen to tour Japanese quake damage.

Lindsey Lohan to perform for Tokyo charitites.

The Bernank to take over Japanese Central Bank.

Obummer sending teleprompters to Japanese PM.

JP Morgan to issue Japanese Emergency EBT cards.


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 06:20 | 1043752 CH1
Sat, 03/12/2011 - 07:39 | 1043800 sushi
sushi's picture

Explosion Destroys Walls of Japan Reactor Building, NHK Says (1)

Tue, 08/16/2011 - 07:29 | 1564636 mediahuset
mediahuset's picture

I can see that you have an expertise on this topic,PFS Realty I would very much like to hear more from you on this subject – I’ve bookmarked this and will return soon more about it, thank you.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:49 | 1042468 FunkyMonkeyBoy
FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

The Bernank is currently firing up the coolant printing press. Go back to bed america, your government is in control.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:07 | 1042560 mophead
mophead's picture

I think we all need to ask, what is more effective in making prices rise, QE or HAARP? Yet another machine made to replace replace humans, in this case, the Fed Chairman.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:09 | 1042569 mophead
mophead's picture

(duplicate deleted) poof!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:48 | 1043381 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

there is a certain your double posts, mophead.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:51 | 1042472 MsCreant
MsCreant's picture

Maybe we should not joke around on this one thread. I know, I am a miscreant, but, well.

Good luck to all involved.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:53 | 1042489 Cow
Cow's picture

Yea.  Good luck with that.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:47 | 1042921 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Exactly, I'm very sorry this happened in Japan. I wish it would have happened in India. Someplace like Mumbai for maximum impact.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 08:46 | 1043740 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Notice I didn't say Israel.

Why? Because if this happened in Israel it would end up costing the US taxpayer 100 - 200 Billion US Dollars in 'donations' generously given to the lizard people by the co-opted US Congress.

Everything's a windfall once you have AIPAC in place.

"More Than 50% of U.S. Senate to Attend AIPAC POLICY CONFERENCE"

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:36 | 1043365 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Ithought we were at peace.? I'm ashamed that you would wish that on any country. Yes I remember Bolpol India.(union carbide) Come on Judith? Lets be friends again. Pretty please?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:51 | 1043387 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Lemme guess.  This nuke plant is not operated by a licensed brand of the Great Satan, i.e. America or its corporations, but rather by a pure-dee Jap company, subject to the same laws of physics.     No?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:12 | 1043425 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

The core is where your answer lies.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:24 | 1043442 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Which in this case is not made of very burnable graphite?   Not following.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:37 | 1043459 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I hope you are right my friend! Graphite results in glass. Diamonds under pressure.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:06 | 1042557 Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture

too many small minds invloved for that hope, unfortunately. (see above. did not take long).

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:08 | 1042568 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

I'll take the No Jokes You Shitheads pledge.

Okay that was a joke I guess. But I meant it. Don't anybody be a shithead.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:12 | 1042579 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

Jokes about what? No1 died yet! Call me when we're at 1000 casualties!

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:18 | 1042598 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

They called 1,000 casualties likely about 2 hours ago.

Well, for the overall event. Not the nuke bit. But you weren't very specific.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:30 | 1042636 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

You people perceive life and death is such absolute states, I could slash my wrists right now and still be 'alive' only my options would be fewer so it's not worth it

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:52 | 1043392 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

i.e. Schroedinger's box was too tight?      I can't relate to that.   Too dry, well yeah that would be an issue.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:27 | 1042632 gunsmoke011
gunsmoke011's picture

I think it is highly likely that well over 1000 casualties have already occurred. Either that or Japan has a lot of Very Good Swimmers -- this is NO Joking Matter!!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:55 | 1043394 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

/Butthead ON   Uh huh huh huh huh.  Huhh huh huh huh.  He said "swimmers"   /Butthead OFF

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 02:36 | 1043545 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I have been watching a lot of Bonanza lately. I love GUNSMOKE! Good stuff.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:52 | 1042736 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

Just wait untill the dollar goes I will estimate 4-5 billion dead

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:12 | 1042581 fragrantdingleberry
fragrantdingleberry's picture

O.K. But how do we make money off this?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:19 | 1042602 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture


Donations to the Red Cross are tax deductable.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:25 | 1042628 mophead
mophead's picture

Anything that is tax deductible is inflationary.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 08:26 | 1043832 tmosley
tmosley's picture

As is anything that isn't tax deductible.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:36 | 1042877 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

You can't make money by giving it away...  unless you're advocating starting a charity...  in which case, you can probably hit a home run. 


[give away $1 to get back $.30 in tax savings, next year].

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:57 | 1043401 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

Marginal tax rates around 35 percent mean I lose 65 percent on that.    Shouldn't people deal with their own shit?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:15 | 1042591 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:49 | 1042473 John Law Lives
John Law Lives's picture

If the meltdown doesn't happen, you can bet it will be reason to pump the markets on Monday.

No meltdown = better than expected

1,000 points of light.  Gaining acceptance every day.  Shining city on a hill.  Inflation is good.  Stay the course.  Yada, yada, yada.  BTFD.  

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:55 | 1042500 Dr. Porkchop
Dr. Porkchop's picture

Brinkmanship as a business model.. you can sell a CDS on that!

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:51 | 1042475 Cdad
Cdad's picture

So if radiation leakage and contamination is bullish, a full on meltdown must be an S&P moonshot!

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:02 | 1042516's picture

Potassium iodide, bitchez!

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:31 | 1042655 Eally Ucked
Eally Ucked's picture

Too bad you don't have to take it!

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:57 | 1042762 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Potassium iodide pills would mitigate the iodine 131 uptake, however the other prevalent radioisotopes would be just as deadly. Some of the other isotopes include cesium 137, strontium 89, strontium 90, barium 140, and hydrogen 3, to name a few. The radioactive strontium tends to mimic calcium and magnesium by sharing an affinity for the bones and connective tissues. Hydrogen 3 (tritium) binds with the DNA molecule and causes genetic damage.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:17 | 1042829 oygevalt
oygevalt's picture

Are you a scientist?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:58 | 1042937 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Maybe he is, maybe he isn't, but he is correct.

Tritium is nasty shit, a high enough exposure all but guarentees lung cancer

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:14 | 1043105 oygevalt
oygevalt's picture

That's cool, looking for verification, and if it comes from you it's good enough for me.  Is there any countermeasure to take, beyond bugging out before it happens?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:28 | 1043125 Lets_Eat_Ben
Lets_Eat_Ben's picture

3 things mitigate ionizing radiation: Time, distance, shielding.  Are my boobs in yet?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:33 | 1043131 Lets_Eat_Ben
Lets_Eat_Ben's picture


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 22:15 | 1043106 oygevalt
oygevalt's picture


Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:45 | 1043474 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

It is just playing with you. Neutron decay  with respect to those isotopes is super fast! elements break down. when the core of a complex element becomes unstable , the proton/neutron core gets excited. The electrons spin into new nuclear material,and attract the neutrons to form a new nucleus. Protons are the stability in the atomic plan.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 02:30 | 1043536 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Now look what you've done. I'll have to dig out my Chart of the Nucleotides and perhaps debate you on this issue. From what I understand about fallout isotopes, of which there are many, I believe that you are correct about decay and the creation of daughter isotopes. Many of these isotopes have half-lives of fractions of a second, so it's true that many of them will not persist in the environment for long durations.

The iodine and strontium tend to be the biggest killers.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 03:15 | 1043593 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

You are being biological silly. Yes lets debate!

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 07:55 | 1043810 Judge Judy Scheinlok
Judge Judy Scheinlok's picture

Yes please debate all you want but remember that the majority of the ZHeeple prefer English. Also my Yen Cross converter app is broken so it is hard for me to convert from Yen Cross to English today.

Thank you.

Kind regards,
~Judge Judy

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:49 | 1043296 johnnyj01
johnnyj01's picture

Rad Pro background?  Navy Nuc or academic?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:06 | 1043318 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

I work in the hazardous waste industry.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:44 | 1043375 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

hate those rads. 1000 over is just a daily dose. curries and all.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:39 | 1043465 serotonindumptruck
serotonindumptruck's picture

Try using a different unit of measurement, such as the "Gray" for absorbed dose.

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 06:25 | 1043754 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

I miss nothing! Well done.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 18:50 | 1042477 drink or die
drink or die's picture
#Tokyo Electric Power Co. reporting they have lost control of pressure in No. 1 & 2 nuclear reactors with temps rising - Reuters
Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:05 | 1042542 Mentaliusanything
Mentaliusanything's picture

That senerio happened to the truck last night. seems I had a crack in a hose which lead to the water pumps loosing pressure and volume. If the thermostat warning light was working I might have noticed but the block overheated and spat the mains. Its an expensive rebuild for such a small crack.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:08 | 1042562 RmcAZ
RmcAZ's picture

FLASH: Japan's trade ministry says the pressure inside the Fukushima nuclear reactor may have risen to 2.1 times the designed capacity - Reuters

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 03:19 | 1043594 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Capacity at it's best?

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:26 | 1042627 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

It would be bad enough if there had just been a facility issue.

But they have a over-limit nuclear pile in a broken facility, with no external support, surrounded by flood waters, with all roads blocked and all local emergency crews swamped with recovery efforts, with no route for large scale systematic evacuations, with aftershocks rocking them every 15 minutes, and the likelihood of another 6+ strength quake sometime in the next 12 hours a very real threat.

They are tooled.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:30 | 1042638 EscapeKey
EscapeKey's picture

Hmm. I think I'd rather watch "Britain's got Talent" like a good, trained citizen after all.

That's the most depressing and worrying thing I've read in a while.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:54 | 1042740 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I like to fuck around and be cynical about lots of stuff....

My reading on the global bad karma meter is now in the red zone and I don't like the feeling I am experiencing...

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 19:57 | 1042764 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

Hmm. Time to dust off your prayer rug?

God is coming and man is She pissed.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:37 | 1042883 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

I am nearly certain god has a dick and he routinely stuffs it in africa's asshole.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 23:21 | 1043230 Hook Line and S...
Hook Line and Sphincter's picture

he...she...what about a hermaphrodite?

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 01:30 | 1043446 TBT or not TBT
TBT or not TBT's picture

In the vernacular that's "she-male".   No accounting for the order of the pronouns there from me, but maybe has to do with a prevalence of dudes who would rather have female than male junk, over females who want the reverse.   Just sayin'

Sat, 03/12/2011 - 00:53 | 1043390 Yen Cross
Yen Cross's picture

Yes she is. Keep your legs tucked.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:01 | 1042773 spekulatn
spekulatn's picture

Mother Nature delivers a wake up call.

Humans are very small indeed.

Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:48 | 1042919 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

I'm in Maui. It was not a good night/morning for anyone around here. We were scared shitless after watching the video from Japan.

We dodged a HUGE could have been disastrous here.


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 20:56 | 1042936 cossack55
cossack55's picture


Fri, 03/11/2011 - 21:30 | 1043029 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

Not bitching, I love it here. Just stating what the situation felt like. 

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