A Question Of Scale: A Destroyed Nuclear Reactor And A Concrete Pump

Tyler Durden's picture

For all those who need a refresher of the scale issues at Fukushima, below we present a picture showing the scale comparison of a concrete pump and a destroyed nuclear reactor (in this case #4). A picture, in this case, is worth 1,000x scaling.

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Cursive's picture

Goliath has nothing on this whopper.  And I don't see any Davids.

Mae Kadoodie's picture

Another pump & dump operation.

Ahmeexnal's picture

The concrete option failed on saturday.

The "nuclear experts" have now turned to plan b: DIAPERS, SAWDUST and NEWSPAPER!!!  When that fails too, will you feel safe when they next attempt to seal the cracked container with DUCT TAPE??


TOKYO –  Engineers pinned their hopes on chemicals, sawdust and shredded newspaper to stop highly radioactive water pouring into the ocean from Japan's tsunami-ravaged nuclear plant Sunday as officials said it will take several months to bring the crisis under control, the first time they have provided a timetable.

Concrete already failed to stop the tainted water spewing from a crack in a maintenance pit, and the new mixture did not appear to be working either, but engineers said they were not abandoning it.




Engineers tried to seal the crack with concrete Saturday, but that effort failed.

So on Sunday they went farther up the system and injected sawdust, three garbage bags of shredded newspaper and a polymer — similar to one used to absorb liquid in diapers — that can expand to 50 times its normal size when combined with water.




What happens when you pour a substance that expands 50 times it's normal size into a tight crevice?  Well, the answer is...YOU BUST OPEN WIDE THE CRACK!


grok's picture

assuming the article is all we have to go on (unless you know what is this polymer?) "can expand to 50 times.." does not imply "will expand to 50 times.."


I mean.. surely people there have more information than you/we do.  maybe they had at least the same thought that a layman would have?  maybe the mixture would expand upward where there is no resistance, eventually "boiling" over at the top if enough was poured?  what's the point of being one voice in a cacaphony of uninformed know-it-alls on the sidelines?  Yes surely I feel that the reaction hasn't been as good as it could have been, at least, in that surely we could have gotten generators airlifted in there before so many things went wrong.. but after that, how can anyone who isn't in the know be of any help with comments like this?  I guess you're just venting frustration..  I want to know why it took so long for other countries to step in and do something.  Also, I would not assume that communication between countries on this matter isn't happening by the minute.  You're relying on the MSM, for godsake!

Broker NotBroke's picture

what about lava? Could we trigger a volcanic eruption? Cover the damn thing in magma? Just spitballing.

Freddie's picture

One of the reasons why the Romans ruled the world is they knew how to harness water.  They also made cement that could be fashioned under water.  No one knew how they did it.  Supposedly lava rock was in the mix or something.

StychoKiller's picture

lookup Hydraulic Cement on wikipedia, we still know the technology.

edotabin's picture

Or just cover it in spitballs and get it over with.

This is a tragedy of immense proportions and the response seems to be extremely delayed and lacking.

I know I am just typing on a keyboard about 8000 miles away but something's not right with this response business......


Thomas's picture

K-Y Jelly (but not for the reactor)

perchprism's picture


It's "water-swellable powder", an acrylate salt.  It works best with distilled water, and is used to dry coat optical cables among other things, to make them water proof (absorbs water to become an impermeable gel).  Unfortunately, because it's a salt, it doesn't work well with salt water (about 20% as efficient with sea water).



bonderøven-farm ass's picture

Perhaps we could send them pallets of our fiat.....we have no use for it here......

jo6pac's picture

Yep and thanks for the :) if this wasn't so sad

Nate Taggart's picture

Perhaps not burst containment, but certainly will clog the remaining cooling channels in the fuel.  Can't see how this is a good idea.  Of course when the alternative is a radioactive wasteland for miles around, what do they ahve to loose.

DosZap's picture

My question yet to see any explanation on, is WHY did TEPCO, allow a 25-30yr old set of 4, built to minimum GE specs be allowed to stay on line that long, and why weren't the containment vessels walls MUCH thicker?.

These plants do not come close to US specs for construction.

Anyone heard why Immelts(GE) cheap  shit was allowed to be used.

Last place you want to to save a YEN, is on four reactors.

OldPhart's picture

Newest proposal, to save costs, is a halloween costume.

"Let's drape a sheet over it."



davepowers's picture

it's like the commercial, where baldwin says 'it's ok, I've played a pilot before"

i'm guessing there was lots of 'i'm playing a nuclear plant operator' going on these last few... ah... well, a long time

trav7777's picture

huh?  Aristarchan had disclosed that the NRC advised TEPCO to upgrade these reactors at least with hardened H2 venting systems as is mandatory here.  They refused.

How many other NRC advisories did they rebuff?  Maybe their arrogance is fatal.  It wasn't GE's fault that they had no plan for a systemic power outage.  They appear to have sat on their asses for nearly a day watching their reactor buildings get ready to blow up.  And when one blew, did they take any emergency remedial measures to stop the others?

They needed only a relatively meager DC power supply to keep this shit all running and as a POWER company, how the fuck could they not have been able to provide this within a 12 hour window?

Herman Strandschnecke's picture

Well, I suggested cat litter and pot noodle yesterday and got junked. And rememember it was me who suggested to tapco that they should use a oil tanker with clean water!

flattrader's picture

This is beyond stupid.  Little wonder Operation Diaper Plug failed


Forget lengthy, polite nationalization.  Kan needs to declare a national emergency and seize control of TEPCO.

Abitdodgie's picture

20 bails of straw that will stop any leak.

Huskybritches's picture

I love how everyone becomes an armchair nuclear expert when they're thousands of miles away from the problem.  If you're so versed on how to handle this problem, then why aren't you over there helping? 

SparkyvonBellagio's picture

Can't they nuke the site w/ a different type of nuke?

And counteract the radiation nightmare scenario?


Thanks, I know I've read this somewhere. 

Boop's picture

Maybe you dreamed it.


Exploding a nuke there would just add more radioactivity and spread it further afield, not to mention the desctructiveness of the bomb itself.


unky's picture

i suggest this a few days ago too,  make a hole so big that the sea will go one more mile into the land, and the problem should be finished.


Reptil's picture

*sigh* no it wouldn't. you (and everybody) would like the heavy plutionium and uranium to remain where they are. roughly in and around the plant, not in the upper atmosphere. which would result in an extinction event, making the planet unhabitable for many many years, except for organisms that can withstand such a harmful environment, like cockroaches, some invertrebrate, and Keith Richards.

shooting DU around the place all the time also doesn't help long term survival chances for mammals like us. eventually it all ends up on our (privileged) plates as well, as would be clear from the fallout detected going in the UK (and other places, but that surfaced in the MSM), during  Operation Desert Storm. More and more the actions of the western elite start to resemble some kind of incredibly shortsighted or suicidal plan. Whatever their ideas, they're certainly not very smart.

Bearish on this one.

malikai's picture

It wouldn't be an extinction event. But it would absolutely suck very bad.

A few dozen cobalt bombs popped at 20,000ft maybe, but certainly not this.

sharkbait's picture

I think you mean Keith Olberman.  Low form of intelligent life.

Hammer Time's picture

putzmeister bitches

Dejean Splicer's picture

Does anyone know how the entombment will play out? Time scale...

cossack55's picture

If memory serves, the Putz's pump 210 yards/hr. A math whizz can figure the ID of the buildings. A little multiplication and....Voila!  Doomsday. 

win's picture

For the best estimates of how this plays out time wise . . .

Refer to the great pyramid at giza which is estimated at approximately 6000 years


patb's picture

Go Full out russian.  Get a million men line them up with shovels and have them go racing in grab a shovel full of radioactive material throw it into buckets,  have a million men grab the buckets and race them out for five minutes. to another man.

Think of it as a giant radioactive relay race.



RockyRacoon's picture

They should enlist the assistance of the Chinese in that endeavor.  I hear the Chinese have a few million folks standing around not doing anything.  They could even make their own human bridge to Japan, sorta like ants do across a stream.

Matte_Black's picture

Interesting point. At Chernobyl the Soviets could order tens of thousands to their deaths with impunity.

Japan not so much. This thought bothers me lately.

SaulA's picture



There is nothing quite like ordering men to their deaths.  That the Japanese can no longer do it is bothersome indeed.  I like your thinking.  We could use you in government.

Matte_Black's picture

Please don't misunderstand. What I was trying to point out is that the Chernobyl example might not be fitting here since it was, in fact, accomplished by sacrificing the lives of approx. 40k people.

The reason that thought bothers me so much is that it gives rise to the question: How? How in the fuck are they going to do this thing without killing tens of thousands?

I see how you could get the wrong impression though. No worries.

j0nx's picture

They aren't and they know it and so does everyone else. Anyone that doesn't believe that is full of shit. The Russians knew what they had to do and they manned the fuck up and did it. The Japs, not so much.

flattrader's picture

I don't see any other options myself.  Thousands of people will die regardless of the whatever half-assed remediation option they choose.

The difference is that back in 1986 the Soviets could do what they had to do in secret rather than in front of a 24/7 cable news cycle.

Few realize that in 1957 there was a horrific nuclear weapons facility accident in Russia that even to this day is not well documented.



Bicycle Repairman's picture

The Japanese are not going to do squat.  Instead we are all going to dodge radiation for years.

Confuchius's picture

While what you say is in no doubt, it will come back to bite them in the ass. If there's anyone alive in japan by then.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ 1,300,000,000

China also has something on the order of a 100,000,000 mismatch of males (more males) to females in the 25 - 45 year old range.  Something like that.

100,000,000 men will not get wives...

bushboy's picture

Go long any Chinese  sex related companies ?

trav7777's picture

colonize Africa, improve gene pool

cossack55's picture

I understand the US has a few million folks standing around not doing anything also.

Bicycle Repairman's picture

They're armed and increasing they are in no mood to sacrifice.

DosZap's picture

Preparation has been in the works for REAL Americans now for sometime.

Read the 18yr LE Professionals experiences, if you have not already.


kaiserhoff's picture

Yaz, yaz, well Tyler, there's only four, or six, or ten meltdowns...  At this point, I don't think I want to know.

Great work as usual.  Even more impressive because the MSM has not a clue on what's happening or the scale of the problems.

The Answer Is 42's picture

Patience, bitchez. On a long enough time line, even the fission fuel in stars run out.