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Radioactive Zirconium Found At Fukushima Confirms Exposed Fuel Rods As High Level Radiation Emitted From Broken Core

Tyler Durden's picture


The latest development in the Fukushima saga is probably one of the more ominous to date. Yomiuri reports that radioactive Zirconium 95 has been found after samples were taken near the water outlet. Google translated: "Zirconium is used for nuclear fuel cladding, the cladding melts some of the spent nuclear fuel was hot cooling water is lost, possibly mixed with sea water flowing into the large drainage There. TEPCO am on March 23, collected about 330 m south from the water at the point of outlet. Zirconium-95 concentration was 0.23 becquerels per cubic centimeter. Atomic Energy Research Institute of Kinki Sugiyama Wataru teachers (of nuclear safety), "The evidence that melting in the heat of the fuel cladding, said first find. Will come from a spent fuel storage pool at," he said." Shortly thereafter NHK spokesman admitted that this is why large amounts of radiation are leaking into the environment, making attempts to control the situation 'very challenging'. If indeed the fuel rod zirconium casing is coming off, it means that the risk for recriticality could be increasing.

Energyfromthorium explains:

A typical solid nuclear fuel rod includes a zirconium alloy tube or “cladding” encasing a single column of uranium fuel pellets. The cladding tube is smaller in diameter than your index finger, and is about 12 feet long. The uranium pellets are each about the size of the tip or your pinky finger, with the energy equivalent of 17000 cubic feet of natural gas, 1780 pounds of coal or 3.5 barrels of oil. The pellets are stacked in the tube with allowance for pellet expansion during fission and heating of the uranium. Once the uranium pellets are loaded into the cladding tube, zirconium end caps are welded in place to form a complete loaded fuel “rod.”

The cladding, pellets and even an individual virgin rod are not hazardous to handle alone, however, multiple loaded rods in close proximity will begin a spontaneous fission reaction. The rods are thus maintained in a non-critical, i.e., a non-fissioning, state during storage or transport by either substantial separation between rods or by control rods or other moderators suitable to absorb neutrons in a more compact rod arrangement.

The fuel rods are then arranged in “bundles” or “fuel rod assemblies”, e.g., 14×14 or 17×17 arrays, which are then inserted into the core with a number of control rods being retractable from the bundle to initiate fission and insertable into the bundle to stop fission. Many rod bundles are oriented vertically in the reactor core with a substantial flow of water passing upward through the bundles to convey the fission reaction heat to a steam turbine for generation of electricity. 

The zirconium cladding serves to hermetically isolate the uranium pellets and accumulated fission byproducts from exposure to the water flow in the core or cooling tank  or to the atmosphere. The thin-walled cladding is transparent to radiation but is naturally affected by the high heat stresses and heat loading in the core.  The rods are preemptively retired after a finite core cycle, 18 months to several years, to maintain cladding integrity even though only a small fraction of the uranium is “spent.”  This finite core cycle is also limited by accumulation of fission byproducts, particularly nuetron absorbers, inside the fuel rod.  A retired or spent nuclear fuel (“SNF”) rod is placed in a water cooling tank for an initial cool-down period during which the more highly radioactive (shorter half-life) isotopes rapidly decay. During this period, the rapid decay still generates substantial decay radiation and heat, albeit only a small fraction of the fission radiation and heat that is generated during reactor operation.  After this initial cool-down period, the slower decay of the remaining longer-half-life isotopes generates a moderate amount of decay radiation and heat, which is readily absorbed by a concrete “dry cask” during long-term storage.

A typical nuclear plant can have hundreds of active fuel rod bundles in each core, thousands of SNF rods in short-term cool-down tanks and fuel from tens of thousands of SNF rods in long-term dry cask storage. The cooling tanks at the compromised Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant collectively house around 11,000 SNF rods with a portion of those housed in the cooling tanks above reactors 1-4.

Water in the cool-down tanks acts as a neutron moderator, radiation shield and coolant, so long as the water level around the rods in the tank is maintained. If the SNF rods are left exposed and uncooled long enough, rapid oxidation (often called “burning”) and extreme heat stress can eventually compromise the cladding, expose the uranium, generate hydrogen, and release fission byproducts. Unmoderated and uncooled SNF rods can produce sufficient radiation and heat that even brief close proximity worker exposure is unacceptable. Should the cooling tank levels drop too low for too long, it could be challenging to restore the cooling tank water levels from a safe distance.

Hopefully, the cooling tank water levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will be restored and the situation stabilized soon.

And if that was not enough, Kyodo reports that high-level radiation is now suspected to be leaking from the core of reactor #3, implying reactor damage.

High-level radiation detected Thursday in water at the No. 3 reactor's turbine building at the crisis-hit Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant appears to have originated from the reactor core, the government's Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said Friday.

But no data, such as on the pressure level, have suggested the reactor vessel has been cracked or damaged, agency spokesman Hidehiko Nishiyama emphasized at an afternoon press conference, backing down from his previous remark that there is a good chance that the reactor has been damaged. It remains uncertain how the leakage happened, he added.

A day after three workers were exposed Thursday to water containing radioactive materials 10,000 times the normal level at the turbine building connected to the No. 3 reactor building, highly radioactive water was found also at the No. 1 and No. 2 reactors' turbine buildings.

The latest development in Japan's worst nuclear crisis raises the risk of more workers being exposed to radioactive elements, hampering their efforts to restore the plant's crippled cooling functions that are key to putting the crisis under control.

The three workers were transferred to the National Institute of Radiological Sciences in Chiba Prefecture Friday afternoon, after two of them were taken Thursday to a Fukushima hospital for possible radiation burns to their feet, the plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.

Following the incident, the nuclear regulatory agency ordered the utility known as TEPCO to improve radiation management at the power station, located about 220 kilometers northeast of Tokyo.

Nishiyama said the high-level radiation is suspected to have come from the reactor, where overheating fuel rods are believed to have partially melted.

He said further verification is needed to find out how the radioactive water reached the underground site where the workers were exposed. Huge volumes of water have been poured into the reactor as well as its apparently boiling spent fuel pool since they lost their cooling functions.

The government, which has set the exclusion zone covering areas within a 20 kilometer radius of the Fukushima plant, meanwhile, encouraged residents within a 30 kilometer radius of the power station to voluntarily leave, while the official directive is for them to stay indoors.

The Nuclear Safety Commission of Japan, a government panel, recommended voluntary evacuation as the release of radioactive materials from the plant is expected to continue for some time.

Despite the partial halt of restoration work due to the technicians' radiation exposure, TEPCO on Friday began injecting freshwater into the No. 1 reactor core, as it prepares to inject freshwater into all the troubled three reactor cores and four spent fuel pools, instead of seawater currently used.

Lastly, for those who believe this is reporting merely an attempt to induce panic, here is Bloomberg on the same topic.

Reactor Core May Be Breached, Leaking Radiation at Plant

Japan’s nuclear regulator said one reactor core at the quake-damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant may be cracked and leaking radiation.

"It’s very possible that there has been some kind of leak at the No. 3 reactor," Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman at the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said in Tokyo today. While radioactive water at the unit most likely escaped from the reactor core, it also could have originated from spent fuel pools stored atop the reactor, he said.

Repair work at the site of the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl has been plagued by explosions, fires and leaks of toxic material. Workers using fire engines have streamed 4,000 tons of water on the No. 3 reactor, five times more than any of the other five units, according to the government.

Two plant workers were hospitalized yesterday with radiation burns after stepping in the water, which was found to have radiation levels 10,000 times higher than water used in reactor cooling, Nishiyama said earlier today.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator, said it found eight different radioactive materials in the water of the turbine building basement, where the men were attempting to connect a power cable. The materials are made through a process of fission, and include cobalt and molybdenum-99, a spokesman for the power utility said.



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Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:22 | 1098745 Tortfeasor
Tortfeasor's picture

Radioactive Zirconium: for that shoestring budget, radioactive shotgun wedding.  She'll never know the difference from a radioactive diamond

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:26 | 1098747 Sophist Economicus
Sophist Economicus's picture

...But you will, after making love to her, when that burning sensation for her just won't go away...

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:39 | 1098773 rich_wicks
rich_wicks's picture

Shut up you stupid idiot.

Japan is totally screwed.  Ths humanitarian crisis hasn't even begun. Just shut the hell up if you have nothing intelligent to say.  You're not funny,  it's an obvious joke, and it's unsuitable.  Go to yahoo group for yuck yucks if you want.  That's filled with idiots, you'd fit right in.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:08 | 1098846 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

looks like somebody needs another Anger Management course ;)

Think blue

Think boobs



Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:06 | 1099014 Carl Spackler-t...
Carl Spackler-the Creator of Spackler Feather Bent's picture

awww! Come on!  Its a little bit funny.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:05 | 1099012 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I would say someone was just emotionally triggered. Time to step away from the keyboard and take a walk around the block.

Thank you for playing the home version of Zero Hedge the game. Please come back and visit us soon.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:05 | 1099017 Bob Dobbs
Bob Dobbs's picture

You are correct.

9.0 Earthquake

9 - 11 m tsunami

400 000 homeless people.

A nuclear disaster in the making.


That's not funny.  We should all help as best we can.


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:19 | 1099287 Yes We Can. But...
Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

I'll try to help with some advice:

If you are after all that has taken place *still* in Tokyo, GTFO now.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:32 | 1099121 Thomas
Thomas's picture

To argue that the Yahoo boards are uncivilized compared to this bunch of wingnuts is a reach. I come here for the Roman orgies.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 12:43 | 1100058 VyseLegendaire
VyseLegendaire's picture

Sounds like someone's containment vessel has been breached mirite?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:26 | 1098748 max2205
max2205's picture

Panic.? We don't need no stinking panic.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:26 | 1098750 DrRaolDuke
DrRaolDuke's picture

A large part of Japan will be uninhabitable for decades. CNN is covering the royal wedding.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:28 | 1098756 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

So what? They perfectly know what people want to hear.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:12 | 1098855 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

that means only one thing....





Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:27 | 1098752 Gmpx
Gmpx's picture

It is too late to run anyway.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:49 | 1098790 Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

George Michael was telling us its tooo late 2 decades back.....

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:08 | 1098840 Gmpx
Gmpx's picture

CERN with a Black Hole right in Geneva. UN with directive 1984. First animal ... (there was one in space, it is time for a bigger role).

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:34 | 1099381 Alea Iacta Est
Alea Iacta Est's picture

CERN will blow Belgium, and 26% of France, off the map sometime before Christmas in my opinion.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:28 | 1098754 Thorlyx
Thorlyx's picture

I love the smell of Zirconium in the morning.....

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:35 | 1098757 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture




Although MOX fuel has been used occasionally in Europe, it is not made with such a high percentage of plutonium-239 as is contemplated for the United States. This form of plutonium is the material of choice for nuclear weapons precisely because it is easiest to explode. Obviously, this is not the goal in reactor operation. Compounding the concern about the use of a weapons material is the disclosure that the plutonium is not pure. In order to make the nuclear weapons, other ingredients were added to the plutonium. One of these is Gallium, which has not been put in a reactor core before, and which interacts with zirconium, one of the metals composing the fuel rod’s "cladding."

Compromise of fuel cladding can cause a host of problems including greatly increased releases of radioactivity to air and water. People living near the Pilgrim nuclear power reactor in Massachusetts had a 400% greater chance of suffering leukemia than those who lived upwind during the years when that reactor was using fuel with faulty cladding. The stakes of current reactor operation are very high without compounding them with MOX fuel use.

See Also: [Contribution] What is Happening in the Reactor Cores of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station?, 24 March 2011, by Michio Ishikawa (Chief Adviser of Japan Nuclear Technology Institute (JANTI))

Why Fukushima’s “spent” fuel rods will continue to catch fire, 15 March 2011, by Kirk James Murphy, M.D. (FDL)

Fukushima: The Salt Problem, by Eben Harrell 24 March 2011 (Time-Blog)

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:01 | 1098820 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

From your Time link, above:

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS)--not known for taking alarmist positions...


Cripes alive.  I hate the MSM.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:31 | 1098760 Kina
Kina's picture

Japan's nuclear crisis still doesn't warrant optimism: Kan


If Kan is saying that then that's code for, we are really fucked here.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:30 | 1098761 Wakanda
Wakanda's picture

Oh, shit.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:31 | 1098764 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Following the incident, the nuclear regulatory agency ordered the utility known as TEPCO to improve radiation management at the power station...


Thank God.  The authorities are in charge.  It'll all be OK from now on.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:35 | 1098765 the not so migh...
the not so mighty maximiza's picture

seduce as many women as possible, impregnate asap, human race must survive

//sarcasm off.....maybe not sarcasm

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:36 | 1098771 Kina
Kina's picture

I'm willing to make the sacrifice for Japanese women.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:58 | 1098997 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

Japanese women are a great fuck. I like quiet dignity with zeal and enthusiasm. A unique experience and such nice perky boobs!

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:40 | 1099149 walcott
walcott's picture

the couple I fucked had some nice big tits and chewy nipples. 

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:40 | 1099408 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

was that before or after the squid shot out?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:36 | 1098769 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

so once this is 'under control', then what?

is that when they bury this nightmare, or will they then try to clean her up and use this plant again?

they have been jerking around for two weeks now

how much time do they think they have?

how long will they let this sucker spew?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:57 | 1098808 The Profit Prophet
The Profit Prophet's picture

I'm afraid you haven't been doing your ZH homework very well John.  They have to let this sucker spew until they are able to cool her down.....very hard to entomb a white-hot melted core of MOX.  Additionally...very hard to cool her down when those who try will die.

There will certainly be no "cleaning her up"...unless your talking about Japan.....and then perhaps, the more southern regions.

As far as your "how much time" question goes....this plant was a fucking doomsday device the minute the nuclear geniuses who built this plant decided to store all the spent fuel in the explosion zone above the reactors.  Hubris can be a terrible thing....both in the financial and scientific fields of study.

T.E.I.N. everyone.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:47 | 1099177 flattrader
flattrader's picture


Point of recognition imminent.

I thought I heard it on BBC and the Americn news this moring, but they backed off calling a spade a spade so to speak likely not to be accused of sensationalism or inciting panic.

I think even really smart people are having trouble getting their heads around this.

I got it instantly when I saw #3 explode.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:59 | 1098817 whoopsing
whoopsing's picture

I'm not sure if 'they' have a choice in the matter JQP

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:02 | 1098828 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Use the plant again?


Better read up on the subject a little.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:46 | 1098956 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

more sarcasm than anything...i know they cant use it again

the problem i see, is those who run the nuclear industry have no backup plan

we got the warning that anything was possible at chernobyl

its time to sacrifice an enormous number of people to get this thing 'under control'

it does not appear to be fixing itself on wishful thinking and firetrucks

they have to get boron into this bitch, and its not going to get inserted where it needs to be by any method i've heard mentioned

so whats the end game?

to big to bury it, right?      pyramid sized project

leaking radiated everything into the environment

appears to be getting worse almost daily

the documentary i watched on chernobyl said they used 800k people to get under control, so obviously fifty to 200 guys, brave as they may be, wont solve dick

so lets get about it

someone built this thing, and they need to find a way to cowboy up and end it befor the entire island is a wasteland, spreading damage to the entire ocean and earth itself

the fact there is no final plan already in place,long befor a disaster, nor even including final disposal of the rods is absurd beyond my ability to comprehend

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:07 | 1099246 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

No backup plan...


Agree completely.  How bad it is going to end up is a matter of conjecture, and serial lies coming from Operation Information Control do not engender optimism except in True Believers, if there are any left.


Sorry for missing the /sarc.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 16:39 | 1101128 RichardP
RichardP's picture

I'm sure they have several backup plans in place.  Just not one for a 9.0 earthquake followed by a 77-foot-high tsunami.

In any situation, if you can't predict the inputs, you can't perfectly anticipate/plan for/defend against the outputs.

They have been doing a decent job muddling through, which is all you can do in a surprise situation such as this.  Make it up as you go along.  For the most part, they have been keeping everything cool enough.

Now, in terms of information disemination ...

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:21 | 1099080 fajensen
fajensen's picture

If they have no solid ground under the plant - concrete or rock - then they cannot just bury the mess. Someone needs to first build a toomb to dump all the radioactive crap in and then some pretty smart robots to do the work with.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:04 | 1099238 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

If they have no solid ground under the plant - concrete or rock 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Well, the ground didn't succumb to the phenomenon known as "liquefaction"

So it's not built on sand ... yesterday it was determined it was more a form of sedimentary rock ...


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:25 | 1099322 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Pretty hard stuff, definitely not sandy. Most of the nearby upland is igneous and metamorphic. To save the air, the seaward side should be demolished, reactors pushed into the ocean, then concrete over debris in the water.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:40 | 1098775 smlbizman
smlbizman's picture

how did this giant asshole larry myers get to be a fed, member.....what a giant fucking douche bag....

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:43 | 1098777 Abitdodgie
Abitdodgie's picture

We are okay the sample of water was collected on July 23 so it's a realy old sample.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 07:43 | 1098778 Tense INDIAN
Tense INDIAN's picture

invest in building those bunkers....else we are all DEAD....

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:28 | 1098908 Arkadaba
Arkadaba's picture


Sale of luxury 'doomsday' bunkers soar as high as 1,000 percent


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:09 | 1098847 A Man without Q...
A Man without Qualities's picture

Extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of central bankers...


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:49 | 1099437 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture





For the backgrounder:

"Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds"


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:01 | 1098819 prophet
prophet's picture

Superb reporting.  NQ.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:00 | 1098821 Incubus
Incubus's picture

The human race isn't going to die off now, we're like roaches.


The question is, who is going to die this century?  All signs point to a massive population reduction via energy/resource scarcity, famine, and war.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:49 | 1098966 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

It's been said that the ecosystem after a thermonuclear war isn't destroyed, it's just...simplified.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:55 | 1098978 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

The overpopulated third world will die off. They have little in natural resources. India pakistan bangladesh, some parts of africa some parts of middle east (egypt) and possibly even parts of.china considering their relative high levels of resource depletion.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:14 | 1099048 Cognitive Dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Considering it is 2011, it's a safe bet that 99% of us will die this century. If you mean which population group will suffer net declines, I would say all.

But we have been saying this for the better part of last century and yet here we are 7 billion strong. So there is no way of knowing anything because there are too many unknowns to even make a decent guess. The wild card is always disease, not energy or technology.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:07 | 1098843 Oh regional Indian
Oh regional Indian's picture

My partner from a couple of years ago, returned to Japan today, from here in India, convinced that all was well according to his daily check-in with friennds and family in Kyoto/Kyoto. He is pretty sure that once this blows over, everything will be mostly back to normal. He was talking 3-5 year plans, absolutely without a clue, really. And he is considered super sharp and is really well connected in Japan. Like really well connected.

And there-in lies the tragedy and what gives thsi tragedy the hint of it having been a plan? Anyone with a modicum of Japanese experience knows it is the most dociled society in the world. And repressed. And controlled. And learnign to think/show they love it too.

Very strange times indeed. Even for an out and out Tin-foiler such as yours truly.


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:09 | 1098844 joshbot
joshbot's picture

This article helped me to understand the process a lot.  Thanks Tyler.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:10 | 1098849 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture
IMPORTANT PDF: Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Systems (General Electric Mark I)


Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant

Daiichi Reactor Design

Fukushima Daiichi 1

Reactor / Design / Size / Commercial / Date of Operation

Fukushima I-1 General Electric Mark I BWR 439MW March 1971

Fukushima I –2 General Electric Mark I BWR 760 MW July 1974

Fukushima I - 3 General Electric Mark I BWR 760 MW March 1976 - PLUTONIUM

Fukushima I - 4 General Electric Mark I BWR 760 MW October 1978

Fukushima I - 5 General Electric Mark I BWR 760 MW April 1978

Fukushima I - 6 General Electric Mark II BWR 1067 MW October 1979

#Danger of Losing Control of the Reactor Is Greater with MOX

Conventional LWRs are designed to decrease the reactivity when the temperature rises.

- But when using Pu-239 as fuel, heating of the core from an increase in reaction rate tends to increase the reaction rate still further.

This is called the positive temperature coefficient of reactivity, meaning there is a danger of losing control of the reactor by accelerated chain reaction of fissioning.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:51 | 1099193 flattrader
flattrader's picture


Thanks for your posts and links.

Credit where credit is due.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:58 | 1099213 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

From your link above: #Danger of Losing Control of the Reactor Is Greater with MOX

This excerpt:

3. Impacts on Radioactive Waste Management

MOX spent fuel contains more fission products than uranium spent fuel. The important factor in managing spent fuel is the heat generation caused by the highly radioactive fission products. Since spent MOX fuel contains much more fission products, the heat generation from MOX spent fuel is twice as high as that ofspent uranium fuel after 10 years and three times as high after 100 years.

What this means is that less spent MOX fuel could be put in a limited repository site, leading to the necessity of more or larger repository sites. Or, longer periods of centuries for interim storage would be necessary. Because of the existence of more plutonium, there is a criticality concern for geologic repository, and requires separate licenses for disposal. This means additional costs and delays. In other words, spent MOX fuel disposal will require more space, more time, and more substantial costs.


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:13 | 1099272 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

My understanding, (correct me if I'm wrong) is that reactor #3 just recently began using MOX fuel, hopefully there is little of the spent shit laying around.  I hope I'm right.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:13 | 1098861 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

When Zirconium is on the streets,

It's time to buy diamonds!


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:19 | 1098872 Natasha
Natasha's picture

This is no surprise:

Japan’s taxpayer, not the nuclear industry or insurers, will cover most of the cleanup cost from the worst accident since Chernobyl, a financial rescue that may spur moves by nations to make companies assume more liability.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., in its 13th day fighting to avert a meltdown at its Fukushima plant 220 kilometers (135 miles) north of Tokyo, at most is required to cover third-party damages of 120 billion yen ($2.1 billion) under Japanese law. Should the government declare the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami that flooded its reactors an “exceptional” act of God, the utility may be off the hook in paying compensation that may be demanded by injured workers, farmers and shareholders.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:38 | 1098926 topcallingtroll
topcallingtroll's picture

They are going to have to seal it with concrete and boron. You cant continue to run water thru a cooling pool that is now partially melted because it will just spread radiation. The longer they wait now to seal the pool the more radiation drifts over to the usa. I am getting very pissed at this japanese intransigence.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:16 | 1099284 ColonelCooper
ColonelCooper's picture

Me too.  My horror and sympathy is turning to anger at the way this is being handled.  The longer they keep this up, the more likely they are to turn the entire damn island into a wasteland.  Fuckers.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:40 | 1098927 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

Excellent detailed explanation. Thanks Tyler.

Those hydrogen explosions about a week or ten days ago were the result of the overheated zircalloy cladding all burning off and reacting with any remaining water. Note that reactor 4 which had been shut down also suffered an explosion as its spent fuel pool boiled dry.

There may have been some uncontrolled criticality as well, since the pools had several reactor loads of "spent fuel" in them. This article explains why maybe only 25% of the spent fuel has actually fissioned, so the pools now have literally hundreds of tons of mixed uranium oxide, fission products, and transuranics sitting in a random pile at the bottom. Eventually they may find lava-like flows of corium under these reactor buildings.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:54 | 1098977 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

Three-headed Eel Rolls...coming soon to a Sushi Restaurant menu near you.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:55 | 1098979 Urban Roman
Urban Roman's picture

From The Nuclear Spokesman's Dictionary:

Cladding Damage: There is no cladding, just a pile of UO2 pellets.

Leak: The bottom of the containment vessel is missing.

Neutron Beam: The fission process never actually stopped.

Stabilized: Run!!


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:05 | 1099020 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture

[Contribution] What is Happening in the Reactor Cores of Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station?, 24 March 2011, by Michio Ishikawa (Chief Adviser of Japan Nuclear Technology Institute (JANTI))

... This condition changes at the moment when water is added into a reactor core. The oxide film becomes brittle when the temperature decreases. Moreover, as the film cools down and contracts, a fuel rod is divided at the boundary of pellets, and drops to pieces (not melting) and such pieces accumulate in the water in a state like a toy box upturned. They can accumulate in the water because fuel rods under the water surface are sound.   These are the conditions that happened in the reactor core at the time of TMI accident.


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:58 | 1099485 flattrader
flattrader's picture


Any info on the condition of the Dianni (sp?) Plant reactors to the south or condition of the Onagawa (sp?) Plant [fuel rod storage facility?] to the north?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:39 | 1099141 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture

Somtin like the Alien Lead Cooling in Alien 3 - (very difficult with lead cause it's very soft at chamber temp) but you get the idea

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 08:55 | 1098983 gall batter
gall batter's picture

They can't concrete it when it's "HOT".  Get your priorities straight, here.  If you're going to lose sleep, it better be over the death of Elizabeth Taylor, not yellow rain.  

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:05 | 1099018 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Basement full of radioactive soup = turn on the pumps?

 = fatal case of tunnel vision

I am pretty numb this morning.  Is there a better approach...where are the options...where is the analysis...

In a way it all comes down to one map--in the UN water management case study of greater metro Tokyo.  It's at this link on page 4:

The bulk of the water is in the northern reach of Kanto.  Mountains there will tend to bottle up pollution and force rain out (orographic lift).  Tokyo residents are well aware of the typical summertime onshore winds and the air quality problems this presents.  Kind of like LA but not as bad. 

The nuclear plant is about 60 miles to the northeast, and onshore winds won't always blow from there to the Tokyo watershed.  But it has been happening quite a bit since the crisis began.  With 18 water treatment facilities already impacted, the dimensions begin to emerge.

The releases simply have to be stopped.  If longer-lived elements contaminate the soils around the Tokyo water supplies, it's kind of a 'Carthaginian' moment. 

Note that there were actually gun battles in Carthage (now a suburb of Tunis) as the Tunisian revolt got hot--strange how history echoes. 

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:17 | 1099279 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Obviously I support anything with the word 'polder' in it.  I am getting more interested in a huge frame building to get some kind of air venting/control.  The two might work well together--a kind of vent hood if you will.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:11 | 1099039 Stuck on Zero
Stuck on Zero's picture

Imagine.  There's a hill behind the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.  If a water reservoir had been placed at the top of the hill gravity could have fed cooling water to the reactors and SNF ponds without any electricity needed!  Gee.  It shows that a little planning can prevent a whole lot of repairing.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:38 | 1099142 trav7777
trav7777's picture

too bad you didn't time travel back to 1960 when this thing was built and construct that.  Therefore, I blame you

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:24 | 1099317 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Reservoirs fail sometimes.  Even small breaches can wreck havoc.

Perhaps even more so in an earthquake prone region.

Not building the damn thing in a tsunami prone area [where it could be flooded] might have been the smart thing to do.

Locating a reservoir above it could have produced the same result if it breached and flooded.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:54 | 1099473 jerry_theking_lawler
jerry_theking_lawler's picture missed point the entire plant on the hill....then no tsunami to worry about....come on, think a little deeper.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:14 | 1099047 mogul rider
mogul rider's picture

Send Kudlow over, he can fix anything

I mean c'mon

Get up off the pavement people!!!!

c'mon you can do it.



Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:18 | 1099070 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

All four units still emitting.....from this morning's update:

"The nuclear agency said black smoke, which had been observed intermittently, stopped billowing from the No. 3 reactor building Friday morning, but that white smoke, possibly steam, is still seen rising from the No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 units."

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:26 | 1099097 fajensen
fajensen's picture

I bet that the black smoke is from connecting electricity to electrical equipment thorougly soaked with salt water!!!

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:21 | 1099086 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

NEW chopper video from Defense Ministry, from Wednesday:

 Roughly one hour of video was edited into a 5-minute clip showing reactors No. 1 to No. 4.

Footage of the No. 3 reactor building shows its roof and the upper section of the building's southern wall blown away by a hydrogen blast.

Vapor can be seen wafting from gaps in the wreckage near a pool for spent nuclear fuel rods. Faint steam can be seen rising from twisted steel framework over what could be the upper part of the containment vessel.
The footage shows the No. 4 reactor building, which has been reduced to steel framework near the top, with a wall on the upper part of the building's southern side torn away.

Light apparently reflected by water can be seen from openings in the roof's frame. An inside view from the southern side shows a green object that is most likely a fallen crane.

The interior of the No. 1 reactor cannot be seen, as its roof has caved in.

At the No. 2 reactor, steam can be seen rising from what appears to be a window on the eastern or coastal side and from a hole in the roof.

Since the disaster, the Self-Defense Forces have been shooting aerial images of the plant using reconnaissance aircraft and helicopters.

The footage is the first of its kind to be made public.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:25 | 1099100 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

TD Commentary:

And if that was not enough, Kyodo reports that high-level radiation is now suspected to be leaking from the core of reactor #3, implying reactor damage.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I think we have a better idea what one of the three 'reports' (booms on the audio track accompanying the video of the blast) may have been from Rx bldg #3 ...


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:27 | 1099102 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:35 | 1099138 miker
miker's picture

There is no doubt the Japanese government is suppressing the true picture of contamination and radiation hazard.  They are trying to avoid a panic......primarily in Toyko so as not to totally shutdown their economy.

Recent estimates of 200-300 billion to rebuild are laughable.  Probably someone from the US Treasury is over their showing them how to spin things....throw out a number....not too low but certainly not realistic to calm everyone down.

Same with nuclear accident.  It would be hilarious if it were not so dire.  The only thing working in their favor has been general direction of wind.  Had it mainly been blowing inland most of this time, they would have have lost 1/4 of the country and including Toyko. 

Clean up of this disasater will take years and thousands of volunteers.  Health effects won't be seen for many years which is largely why in these types of accidents, governments are exempt from telling the truth up front. 

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:43 | 1099158 trav7777
trav7777's picture

and if the fact that they disclosed that two workers stepped in radioactive water possibly from core breach isn't proof they are trying to "suppress" things, then what is?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:42 | 1099155 trav7777
trav7777's picture

It can be from condensation of steam release or just plain water they pumped in having come back out.

If they have no circulation, water is going to come back out in some form.

The core contains LESS nuclear materials than the far.  IOW, all 4 cores could melt down and it would still not pose the level of environmental threat that the SFPs do.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:50 | 1099180 ArsoN
ArsoN's picture

Doesn't this make it a "7"?  Also, didn't the clean up of a 7 basically go a long way to ruining the USSR? 

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:00 | 1099186 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

Death in Arrears... nice.   So here goes:

1. Where has Warren B. been breathing all week?

2. Where were North American Leaders last week?

3. Where is Bill & Melinda?

4. Two weeks + more non-measurement lies = Continuous Spewing Global Poision?  

5. Act of War (either by US or Them)?

6. 50% radnet monitors offline, or is all data being massaged by EPA?

7. 350+ seismic earth quakes, but only only along where the nuclear reactors sit?

8. Topography of Japan's eastern coast is falling slowly (or rapidly) over a cliff into the 20,000ft sea?

9. HAARP moving cold air into N.A. as a shield - and shaking Japan's tactonic plates?

10. If Japan's geological support wall erodes with tremors and as a result, falls into the ocean..., does the tsunami flood into the Bay of S.F. and Port of Seattle, Vancouver... etc?

Just a few thoughts I'm looking to answer...

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:09 | 1099248 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

9. HAARP moving cold air into N.A. as a shield - 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

How would that work?

Can you explain it on first principles - that is, on a "what-affects-what" basis?

Or not? (magic)



Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:18 | 1099606 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture

From the outside looking in, one can only speculate and deduct from a reasoned assessment of the facts, trends, patterns and experience that "air" could be moved.   That being said, indeed nobody can "prove" HAARP's mystical powers unless one was "from the inside:?" - but one rational being could accept the possibility (not fact) of the focus of the Rf into the northern hemisphere in order to "heat" up the surrounding arctic air mass, could in effect, split the pressure system into two cold fractions, thus pushing the lower (polar arctic air mass) pressure cell southward into Ontario and continuing on through to affect the subtropical southeast jet stream and redirect it lower. 

But, it is all still just exactly like you said,... "just magic" for now. 

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:43 | 1099678 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

 That being said, indeed nobody can "prove" HAARP's mystical powers unless

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

So, your answer is: c) Magic.





Still waiting for someone technical to explain how a 2.8 to 18 MHz HF RF source with the ability to steer a beam +- 30 degrees from vertical from a 15 column by 12 row planar phased array comprised of crossed-dipoles each fed by a 10KW transmitter can affect air-masses/weather, tectonic plates or mankind's thought/hinking abilities (mind control; yes, some have purported 'mind control' applications) ...


Also keep in mind that, if HAARP is operating, a SW (short wave) radio from Radio Shack (if they still sell them) or better yet, one of the cheaper spectrum analyzers can pick up HAARP transmissions; it would not be rocket science to verify HAARP on-the-air activity and correlate to some 'event' ...


PS: HF (2.8 thru 18 MHz) RF (Radio Frequency) energy cannot 'heat air'. You would be better off burning the diesel fuel that powers the six-diesel engined HAARP power plant to do that ... HAARP's effect is on the ionosphere.


Do you know what level that is at? Above 85 km ...

All 'weather' occurs in the troposphere (extending from the surface to about 10 km/6 miles and sometimes half-way into the  stratosphere, about 20 km/12 miles/30kft)




Fri, 03/25/2011 - 12:08 | 1099819 Contra_Man
Contra_Man's picture


Mind-Bending Control more likely.... "Still waiting for someone technical to explain":


-who said anything about an old school 10KW fossil fueled "HAARP power plant"? 24 Hydromagnetic 1GZ Generators is JMHO.  Source: Flotor(TM)

-if frequency is just another form of power, then a new power source may contain new types of frequencies:  Did you hear that whistle sound? All Howl.

-jumping or reflective cloud and non-cloud particulate reflections

-what goes up must come down

-shake sand violently enough - it turns into liquid matter at some frequency?  Anybody know?



Fri, 03/25/2011 - 12:08 | 1099871 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Though you probably mean well *, it would appear rationality and a firm rooting/grounding in a 'hard science' probably not so much ...





* Awarding the 'benefit of the doubt' here ...

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 12:10 | 1099881 Contra_Man
Fri, 03/25/2011 - 12:15 | 1099895 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

Fantasy, fiction, sci-fi, complete mis-read of the docs/patents compounded by ... no ability (by most HAARP hobby-horse riders) whatsoever to comprehend actual physics ...



Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:50 | 1099188 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture
Detailed close-up aerial video of wrecked reactors at Fukushima
Fri, 03/25/2011 - 09:58 | 1099212 penisouraus erecti
penisouraus erecti's picture

Keynsian view - great news for the economy - more rebuilding and clean up to stimulate economic growth and bring Japanese together politically.

<sarc off>


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:11 | 1099240 Youri Carma
Youri Carma's picture

Radiation Spread From Japanese Nuclear Power Plant Continues 25 March 2011 (VOA NEews)

Tokyo Electric Power confirms that zirconium-95 in sea water several hundred meters from the Fukushima plant has been detected since Wednesday when testing began there for additional radioactive elements.

Japan's defense ministry says pure water and pumps supplied by the United States military will be brought to Fukushima-1 to cool the reactors. It would replace the sea water being used that is causing corrosion because of an accumulation of tons of salt. Scientists say chloride in the salt could also break open the zirconium alloy layer of protection around the fuel rods which prevents volatile radioactive elements from escaping.
Also see: Fukushima: The Salt Problem, by Eben Harrell 24 March 2011 (Time-Blog)

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:09 | 1099257 gwar5
gwar5's picture

This is not good. The diesel concrete funeral trucks for this thing are on their way already. They were just delayed finding fuel.

They're going to have to create a 20 mile exclusion zone around this thing.

Children from 12 miles out are being exposed to harmful levels of radiation right now and no doubt the zone will have to be expanded.

Once you expand an exclusion zone it's unlikely it will ever be reduced again. No one wants to live next to Chernobyl.  

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:12 | 1099259 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Two full weeks later:

Almost every step of the way, the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have been understated by those in charge in Japan, outside experts say, leaving observers scrambling to analyze the situation as best they can from afar.

And this, absolutely the most obvious and damming charge of all:

Exactly who is the national incident commander? 

When no one is in charge, nothing gets done.  Should we be surprised that the situation continues to deteriorate? No one convincingly advocates for the allocation of resources for the crippled 6-unit site.  As a result, they don't get resources.  As a result, the situation continues to deteriorate.

Meanwhile, the BoJ shits $600 Billion at the markets.  Priorities, anyone?

So let's try to silence critique of the response by trotting out the brave, doomed souls onsite who are fighting this disaster, while ignoring that they are apparently doing so completely on their own.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:20 | 1099298 Roger Knights
Roger Knights's picture

The MSM starts to notice something fishy (LA Times). I post the first third of a hard-hitting article just out today:

"Lack of data from Japan distresses nuclear experts"

"How did Japanese workers at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant jury-rig fire hoses to cool damaged reactors? Is contaminated water from waste pools overflowing into the Pacific Ocean? Exactly who is the national incident commander?

"The answers to these and many other questions are unclear to U.S. nuclear scientists and policy experts, who say the quality and quantity of information coming out of Japan has left gaping holes in their understanding of the disaster nearly two weeks after it began.

"At the same time, they say, the depth of the crisis has clearly been growing, judging by releases of radioactivity that by some measures have reached half the level of those released in the Chernobyl accident of 1986, according to new analysis by European and American scientists.

"The lack of information has led to growing frustration with Tokyo Electric Power Co., known as Tepco, and the Japanese government, which has parceled out information with little context, few details and giant blind spots. It has left the international community confused about what is happening and what could come next.

""Information sharing has not been in the culture of Tepco or the Japanese government," said Najmedin Meshkati, a USC engineering professor who has advised federal agencies on nuclear safety issues. "This issue is larger than one utility and one country. It is an international crisis."

"Almost every step of the way, the problems at the Fukushima Daiichi plant have been understated by those in charge in Japan, outside experts say, leaving observers scrambling to analyze the situation as best they can from afar.

"The public health concern is growing with news that the radiation has spread, leading to advisories on food and water. An Austrian meteorological institute, the Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics, said this week that computer models showed the emissions of radioactive cesium from the plant might already amount to 50% of what was released from Chernobyl, and that releases of radioactive iodine could be 20% of the Chernobyl total.

"Edwin Lyman, a physicist with the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, said Thursday that his own modeling of the data had confirmed the Austrian analysis, suggesting that Japan might ultimately have to exclude humans from a large area and face a remediation effort more costly than thought."

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:42 | 1099415 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

The kimono is beginning to be pulled back by the MSM ...

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:26 | 1099323 I Got Worms
I Got Worms's picture

Is anyone but me getting a little preturbed by the Japanese people's apparent passivity regarding the radiation levels and health effects? Don't mean to sound insensitive but if that was me, I'd be going apeshit and attempting to physically take it to these goverment/utility/media officials telling me all is well, just ignore that third arm growing out of your sternum. I mean shit, they have nothing to lose. They are stuck on a big poisonous rock. I'm done being told to be impressed with their stoic approach to the disaster. Unleash some chaos already!

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:44 | 1099409 Colonel Sun
Colonel Sun's picture


Disappointed that the Japan is not succumbing to wild speculation and hysteria just like ZH posters?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:44 | 1099423 WTFisThat
WTFisThat's picture

If you brainwash your population for over 40 years then the end result is a population that is so conditioned, they would believe whatever the tube says - well, good luck with that in a near future.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:46 | 1099426 Colonel Sun
Colonel Sun's picture

Right . . .  How much time in Japan have you spent, Mr. Expert?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:22 | 1099620 WTFisThat
WTFisThat's picture

Well, let me just show you this litlle video :)

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:31 | 1099634 Colonel Sun
Colonel Sun's picture

Created for children, but you would benefit from it also.


Shibuya Station, Tokyo live:

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:39 | 1099716 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

A video like that could rob all the fun out of pooping your pants.  But apparently it's OK with a diaper ... huh?


Shibuya Station: surreal ....

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 13:35 | 1100282 Colonel Sun
Colonel Sun's picture

I find it amusing that there is far more panic in the US, at zero risk from Fukushima, than there is in Japan.


Apparently KI pills are sold out in the US. Proof of the Idiocracy that US has become. The only people in the US who will have died from the Fukushima incident will be those involved in traffic accidents driving from pharmacy to pharmacy or dying from stress induced cardiac arrest after reading and believing the ZH histrionics.


The ZH spin is would be hysterical, if not for the fact that 20,000 plus Japanese citizens lost their lives due the earthquake and tsunami. A complete lack of perspective never mind basic decency.



Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:25 | 1099324 Jim in MN
Jim in MN's picture

Still just fire trucks, a handful of resolved workers, and rivers of denial:

Fresh water starts flowing into troubled reactors

Tokyo Electric Power Company has begun pumping fresh water instead of seawater into troubled reactors at the quake-hit Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

Workers had been injecting seawater as an emergency measure to cool the reactors and spent fuel storage pools after the plant was crippled by the quake and tsunami.

But experts say the continued use of seawater will cause a crust to form inside the reactors and prevent cooling, as well as causing corrosion.

The plant operator, known as TEPCO, is switching to pumping fresh water from fire engines with storage capacity.

Workers began pumping fresh water into the Number One reactor on Friday afternoon and into the Number 3 reactor in the evening.

They are now preparing to start injecting fresh water into the Number 2 reactor.

TEPCO has also been working to restore external power to the reactors in order to restart cooling systems and instruments.

Friday, March 25, 2011 21:11 +0900 (JST)

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:41 | 1099404 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture

Sounds jerry-rigged to buy time before a real solution can be implemented.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 14:51 | 1100682 SWRichmond
SWRichmond's picture

Two weeks after the event, potable water shows up.  How hard can it be?  Doesn't anyone have the money to rent a fricking heavy-lift helicopter? 

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:26 | 1099336 Kassandra
Kassandra's picture

Thats it. I'm going back to bed.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:30 | 1099669 10kby2k
10kby2k's picture


Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:36 | 1099384 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

Nuke the place and it will be all over except the fallout which will come down in due time.

Thank you Zero Hedge for the absolutely great coverage with this story when everything is lies in all the world.

I have decided that it's as bad is going to get. The only worse it will be is the slow train wreck as the people suffer by the day in Japan and eventually over here.

Now excuse me while I turn my back on the fumbling Media and the inept managers and continue to prepare for fallout.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 10:51 | 1099461 InfinityZero
InfinityZero's picture

What about nuke fukushima with a hydrogen bomb ? Crazy?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:05 | 1099521 avonaltendorf
avonaltendorf's picture

Yep. Crazy. Shock wave wrecks Tokyo, throws everything at Fukushima into the atmosphere and fallout lands on USA. You kinda knew that, right?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 13:56 | 1100390 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

First off Tokyo is about 150 miles out.

Immediate effects of a nuclear strike would be about 50km in heat, blast, light and radiation. (And of course a earthquake.)

Drop one so that it goes into the ground under the plant, when it finished exploding there should be a cavern big enough to envelope the plant complex in it's entierty. Then the ocean should flow in and fill it.


We do have weapons that (And the Russians too..) can deploy a penetrator against mountain strong holds like NORAD. Those dig 100-300 feet down enough for a warhead to get really close down.

If we leave the damn plant spewing crap into the sea, sky and land irradiating Japan and the USA while the MSM says all is Well...

Then we deserve what we get for not taking any bold action.

When a building is bad, we demo it. This Plant Complex is REALLY bad, we need to bury it with a nuke. Radiation? pffth not much more than what it will be if it is left to fester like a open sore spreading for weeks.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:31 | 1099653 Colonel Sun
Colonel Sun's picture

There was study done some time ago in the US regarding a nuclear attack that concluded that by far the worst long term damage would be done by targeting nuclear power stations rendering much of the US uninhabitable.


So, yes. Crazy.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 14:01 | 1100404 HungrySeagull
HungrySeagull's picture

In a war, it matters not. Especially a hot shooting nuclear war. I should know, I remember the old NIKE battery alerts way back in the day. When certain people disappear from normal every day life they are going to the NIKE and we know damn well if they launched the things the fallout is downwind or even back onto the city they are trying to protect.

Lucky are those who die instantly, while scouraged, blinded and injured survivors wander a wasteland of hot falling ash until they too die.


Consider this. After such a war, starshine, ground shine, black, yellow rains etc etc etc etc requires about 4 feet of earth above your head and on all sides with a entry way around two 90 degree corners. Sufficient food, fuel and means of air circulation and disclipine is required to last about 3 to 4 weeks before it is safe to emerge.

And even then, only for hours at a time, then days then weeks as the halflife wears off.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:01 | 1099501 edmondantes
edmondantes's picture

Swiss TV report that at Fukushima we might be facing a slow-motion super meltdown, likely to release huge amounts of deadly plutonium:

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:28 | 1099599 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Nomination for most flagrant example of Newspeak and issue-framing yet:


Linked to by Drudge.  EVERY SINGLE paragraph is skewed.  It would be funny if it weren't so tragic.  Nonsense, contradictions, Lithium.


A few examples, it is too target-rich to point them all out:

 Three men working inside the No. 3 reactor stepped into water this week that had 10,000 times the amount of radiation typical for that locale, Nishiyama said. That water likely indicates "some sort of leakage" from the reactor core, signaling a possible break of the containment vessel that houses the core.

Ha! 'Some sort of leakage' and 'possible break'.  Give US a break.


A rupture in the containment vessel could pose problems for workers who are trying to prevent that, depending on its severity.



Workers are undertaking various measures to prevent the further release of radioactive substances into the air and beyond.

Various?  What?  Hope and pray?


Some 17 people have been exposed to 100 or more millisieverts of radiation since the plant's crisis began two weeks ago

More?? If you know it's more, then how much more?


The workers had been laying cables in the No. 3 reactor turbine building's basement when they stepped in the water. It seeped into the ankle-height boots of two, according to the power company.

The workers remained in the 15-centimeter (5-inch) deep water for about 40 to 50 minutes.

Two of them were admitted to Japan's National Institute of Radiological Sciences: one in his 30s who was exposed to 180.7 millisieverts and the other in his 20s who tested at 179.37 millisieverts.

Those are dosimeter readings presumably.  Guess what the intensity was on their feet?  And why didn't they know not to get their feet wet in there?  Presumably they might have been told,

The water in this location is typically boiled and has low levels of radiation, Nishiyama said.

Oh.  Boiling it lowers its radioactivity.  OK, then. Right.


The No. 1 reactor remains a chief concern, with the Japan Atomic Industrial Forum noting Friday that its containment vessel was experiencing "increased" pressure.

Earlier, buildups of hydrogen gas had driven up pressure that led to explosions at three of the nuclear plant's reactors, including the No. 1 unit.

Nishiyama conceded that "controlling the temperature and pressure has been difficult" for that reactor. Still, he told reporters Friday that the situation then was "rather stable," given indications the pressure was decreasing.


Pressure led to explosions?  Cripes.  Controlling temperature and pressure has been 'difficult'?  (This is getting beyond nauseous.)  Um, unless it cooled substantially, and there is no evidence or expectation for that, the decrease in pressure means another LEAK.


It goes on and on.  Parsing this stuff is beyond scatological.


Oh, how I hate the MSM.


Edit: This is why the incompetence theory of history breaks down.  It is simply impossible for any news organization to be this malignantly stupid, accidentally framing the issue with the turn of every single phrase.  This is raw malevolence. 

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 12:12 | 1099882 Ident 7777 economy
Ident 7777 economy's picture

It is simply impossible for any news organization to be this malignantly stupid, accidentally framing the issue with the turn of every single phrase.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

Three word ans: "Liberal Arts majors"



Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:26 | 1099638 Kina
Kina's picture

NEWS ADVISORY: Water pools 40-150 cm deep found near all 4 troubled reactors: TEPCO

What is the significance of this exactly?

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:32 | 1099679 TaxSlave
TaxSlave's picture

Don't step in it.


It's fact-free news, dribbled out like mainlined heroin.  The byproducts and level of radiation mean core containment breach.  It's code for anyone with a clue to get the hell out of there before the stampede.  The farther away, the better.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 11:47 | 1099764 pyite
pyite's picture

Typical ZH hyperbole. Yes this situation sucks but if the image doesn't make it into this post, click the article to compare the death rate per watt generated between Coal and Nuclear.  Coal releases radiation when it burns, not to mention plenty of other toxic substances.

20,000 people were killed in the earthquake/tsunami. Get some perspective.

Fri, 03/25/2011 - 13:37 | 1100295 dugorama
dugorama's picture

death rate: do you include all 600 of the chenobyl pilots?  or since they died over the following two years do you exclude them?  what about all the utah downwinder thyroid cancer victims... I'm guessing they don't count since you can't "prove" that nuke exposure had anything to do with it. etc.

the only reason you could put this tripe together is that it rarely kills while you're still on site. 


I can tolerate a 1% failure rate at my coal plant.  next year we can plant our crops again next door.  A 1% failure rate at breeder reactors means we can never live on this planet again.  big difference.

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