Stratfor: Japan Government Confirms Meltdown

Tyler Durden's picture

From Stratfor:

Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) said March 12
that the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi No. 1 nuclear plant could
only have been caused by a meltdown of the reactor core, Japanese daily
Nikkei reported. This statement seemed somewhat at odds with Japanese
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano’s comments earlier March 12, in
which he said “the walls of the building containing the reactor were
destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not

NISA’s statement is significant because it is the government agency
that reports to the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy within the
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. NISA works in conjunction with
the Atomic Energy Commission. Its role is to provide oversight to the
industry and is responsible for signing off construction of new plants,
among other things. It has been criticized for approving nuclear plants
on geological fault lines and for an alleged conflict of interest in
regulating the nuclear sector. It was NISA that issued the order for the
opening of the valve to release pressure — and thus allegedly some
radiation — from the Fukushima power plant.

NISA has also overseen the entire government response to the nuclear
reactor problems following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. It is
difficult to determine at this point whether the NISA statement is
accurate, as the Nikkei report has not been corroborated by others. It
is also not clear from the context whether NISA is stating the
conclusions of an official assessment or simply making a statement.
However, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), the operator of the
Fukushima nuclear plant, also said that although it had relieved
pressure, nevertheless some nuclear fuel had melted and further action
was necessary to contain the pressure.

If this report is accurate, it would not be the first time statements
by NISA and Edano have diverged. When Edano earlier claimed that
radiation levels had fallen at the site after the depressurization
efforts, NISA claimed they had risen due to the release of radioactive


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Id fight Gandhi's picture

I figured as much. The back and forth of was it a meltdown or something else has probably cost many people their lives. This keeps getting ugly.

Will Japan trade tomorrow?

Instant Karma's picture

Tyler this is all confusing. How does he building housing a nuclear reactor "explode" unrelated to damage to the primary containment or the core. Is it that the radioactive gas held in by the building is rich in hydrogen, and that detonated? But where did the hydrogen gas come from if not the core and primary containment? So if primary containment is still intact, you've got a reactor in a steel jar just sitting out in the open? I'm confused.

Id fight Gandhi's picture

I think it was obvious to experts with explosion and high radiation levels it melted thru the core.

IQ 145's picture

 He, he, he. think again. What you call thinking is imputing your favorite solution to an imaginary expert, and thereby validating it. Apitiful process.

whatsinaname's picture

9-11, 3-11..

whats with 11 ?

Mentaliusanything's picture

You should worry more about the Ides of March. 15th of March

Oh regional Indian's picture

+5 and one for yoru Avaatar Rusty. 

I trust Africa seems like an ocean of calm right now?


QQQBall's picture

Drop acid for cluister headaches? hahahaha!

Newsboy's picture

Using hallucinogens teaches you about what your mind can do, that it doesn't usually do. I found that very useful, and have used peyote in a Native American Church ceremony in 1994, that freed me completely from the desire to drink alcohol or smoke pot. Those 7 hours changed me, by eliminating my addictive patterns.

As Faron Young used to say about BC Powder, "It's STRONG MEDICINE".

snowball777's picture

I've had hundreds of good trips with them, but that doesn't change the fact that 'NeuroSoup' is one of the dumbest bimbettes on planet earth and no one from whom to take advice about entheogens of any kind.

whisperin's picture

IK, go to and you'll see Karl wrote a good piece with a description of the chemistry involved.

baconator3000's picture

Carl deniger is a blithering idiot. Him and his 3 forum postets

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Hydrogen spontaneously disassociates from water molecules at around 2500C.  What probably happened/is happening is the overheated core is generating hydrogen gas.  When they vented steam from the containment vessel to reduce the pressure, it contained hydrogen gas.  The hydrogen would spontaneously explode on contact with air.  The hydrogen explosion destroyed the building, but the reactor vessel itself is likely still intact.  Explosion was inside the building, but outside the reactor vessel. Though it seems probable that the uranium dioxide fuel pellets have at least partially melted.  If enough pools on the bottom of the reactor vessel, it will melt through the bottom, triggering a much larger explosion as the reactor vessel fails.  Exposed to air, the superheated interior or the reactor will ignite (even steel and concrete burn if hot enough), while the molten uranium will burn through the concrete into the ground.  Since the explosion probably destroyed what remains of the coolant system, failure of the reactor vessel seems a foregone conclusion.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

The hydrogen explosion destroyed the building, but the reactor vessel itself is likely still intact.

- - - - - - - - -

From what we could see yesterday, and examining the sketches and illustrative drawings of the GE Mark I reactor, the top of the building *only* blew off, this top portion, non-reinforced, housed the crane that sits upon a couple of rails and is used to move fuel, equipment around ...


serotonindumptruck's picture

We all get to watch while the situation grows progressively worse. These unusually large seismic events are clearly increasing in periodicity. I'm anticipating at least an 8.5 event or greater someplace within the Pacific ring of fire sometime within the next two weeks.

IQ 145's picture

 Will you pay me $10,000 if no 8.5 event occurrs? You're just another example of female logic; you belive what makes you feel good; there is no connection to reality whatsoever.

serotonindumptruck's picture

I'll bet you a silver eagle. I'm good for it.

Instant Karma's picture

What does "feeding the ducks" mean? I'm picking up twitter chatter than Friday was feeding the ducks for a Monday slaughter. Does feeding the ducks mean keeping the market steady and calm prior to a big short onslaught?

Dr Hackenbush's picture

I'll bite: feed the ducks means to sell

while they are still quacking...

snowball777's picture

Think foie gras.

Gotta get them livers nice and fatty before ze kill, mon frere.

Biff Malibu's picture

ducks=uninformed investors

feed the ducks=sell them stock while they're still stupid enough to buy it...don't wait for ma and pa mainstreet to turn their nose up at the market

FreedomGuy's picture

I bought gold stocks on the last drop! I'll quack for that.

Dr Hackenbush's picture

wow alternate universe, what timeline are you on? uninformed investors?  We always feed the ducks before the technicals fail - or the news cycle changes.

Victorio's picture

the walls of the building containing the reactor were destroyed, meaning that the metal container encasing the reactor did not explode.”

Yeah, that makes no sense...  

FunkyMonkeyBoy's picture

You clearly don't understand. They're using the new physics normal that was discovered on 9/11. Buildings collapse into their own footprint at free-fall speed because of fire and now buildings explode at high speed because their walls collapse.

Stop using your brain.

snakebrain's picture

Neither of you understand.


The reactor is in a metal (6" thick steel) sarcophagus, surrounded by a building that  basically enclosed the reactor assembly and keeps the rain off it. So, the building above can be destroyed but the reactor remain intact. It's obviously not good news either way..

Instant Karma's picture

I get that part. So...why did the building explode?

Caviar Emptor's picture

There were initially 2 possibilities: 

The concrete outer structure (building) could have exploded as a result of excessive steam pressure due to overheating. The steam contains some radioactivity but usually not lethal doses and fall out minimal. 

But what was clear to the trained eye was that the pattern of explosion was probably caused by the exploding steel inner containment vessel which surrounds the core. When that happens there is large amounts of gamma radiation spreading circumferentially and there is lots of fallout in the atmosphere. Just like a nuclear bomb. The radiation doses are very easy to calculate as a function of distance away from the reactor. This only happens when the fission reaction was allowed to get out of control. It will glow for a long time to come. Could have secondary explosions too


IQ 145's picture

 You're a complete idiot. It was a hydrogen-air explosion. There's nothing wrong with reactor vessel or the containment, or the core. Mindless freaks like you are a terrible provocation for the technically illiterate to "emote". Basically, there;s nothing happening. ie. in the 1880's hundreds and hundreds of people were killed in boiler explosions as the steam power age matured; no-one was crazy enough to object to steam power as a result.

majia's picture

Is IQ 145 a regular at zerohedge? I always read comments and haven't seen his before, though I've been reading for a couple of years.

His comments remind me a lot of the comments by the oil industry fraudsters after the Gulf Oil Spill. Those fraudsters disappeared from the comments after Tyler stopped posting about the spill...

I'm not saying a doomsday scenario is correct but it seems to me that IQ 145 is trying too hard....

DollarMenu's picture

He's been showing up lately to drop snarky comments and

adds little to conversation besides an interjection of self-importance.


Bicycle Repairman's picture

"His comments remind me a lot of the comments by the oil industry fraudsters after the Gulf Oil Spill. "

Agreed.  It's sock puppet city up in here.

snakebrain's picture

As far as I can gather, there was probably a build-up of hydrogen gas in the enclosed space above the reactor. Presumably something to do with the venting process though I'm not a nuclear physicist. Good info in this discussion...


"The explosion could have been caused by a number of events. Certain nuclear processes will generate hydrogen through what is essentially electrolysis of the coolant. That hydrogen needs to be either recombined with oxygen in a controlled fashion or vented safely. The cooling issues can theoretically exacerbate this issue.

Hydrogen is also used in the generator itself to increase the efficiency due to reduced friction (windage). The generator seal could have been damaged in the earthquake, and a slow hydrogen leak could have created an explosive environment in the powerhouse. This would be unrelated to the cooling issues."

Caviar Emptor's picture

The hydrogen gas story may have been just a cover. The containment vessel could have blown as a result fo excessive heat from an uncontrolled fission reaction. They've already admitted that the fuel rods were at least half uncovered by coolant

IQ 145's picture

 It was a hydrogen-air explosion in the building; it had no impact or significance for the reactor containment, or the reactor vessel itself; this was most probably the result of paranoia bout insignificant levels of gaseoius radiation products that would have no effect on public health were they vented. Keeping the building closed; an operatng decision; allowed hydrogen to build up to a level where it could be detonated by  an ignition source. All of the problems that this power plant has are the result of poor operating decisions; there are no public health issues; this will be yet another media event. The automatic shut-down upon detection of earth movement, was a major mistake; the human operators can shut down the plant in a more gentle and controlled manner if this is indeed necessary. The Diesel Standby power source started and then tripped off line; why ? is crucial to improving operational reliabilty.. there's is nothing wrong with the containment vessel or the reactor vessvessvedddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

VisualCSharp's picture

You're in Japan right now, looking at the reactor firsthand?

Yeah, I thought not.

IQ 145's picture

 This is correct; the wonderful thing about the internet is that you always have to keep in mind that the totally ignorant typists will be there to insist that the reactor vessel "exploded" etc. etc.

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

Hydrogen spontaneously breaks free of water molecules at around 2500C.  It would have ignited on contact with the air when they vented steam to reduce pressure in the reactor vessel.

Ident 7777 economy's picture

Junked on account of spurious, gratuitous mention of 9-11-2001 event  having nothing at all to do with this event in the minds of rational men ...




Lord Welligton's picture

It is at the very least Three Mile Island.

It will not be Chernobyl. Different design?


There are a lot more reactors on site.

Downplaying the significance of this, as some not you, are doing is suspicious.


Yen Cross's picture

Hello no show. Enlighten me. I'm enjoying the afternoon.

IQ 145's picture

 I'm not going to waste any more time trying to educate engineering illiterates who are passionately devoted to "terrible problems". In time you will see that there is nothing to see here; there is no consequence, no public health concern; perhaps you will question your media provider next time; and I do mean Zero Hedge,who is exactly as guilty as the "main stream medium" in selling "page clicks per disaster" as  ABC.

goldfish1's picture

I appreciate your attempts to educate.

DaveyJones's picture

is being smarter than everyone else a disability or a gift?

IQ 145's picture

 It;s a gift that you have to learn to live with; also, it is useless unless you are ruthlessly dedicated to doint your homework and constantly educate yourself.

css1971's picture

Disability. Broadcasting your IQ is an indication of emotional immaturity and insecurity. A crutch.