TEPCO Now Evaluates Dispersing Boric Acid On Reactor 4 As Fuel Rod Damage At Other Reactors Estimated At 33% and 70%

Tyler Durden's picture

Desperation in Fukushima is growing as one by one the remaining options to prevent the "recriticlaity" of reactor 4 slide away. After the idea floated earlier to pour water on the core in hopes of cooling was dashed following a fire which broke out about 2 hours earlier and technical difficulties associated with the actual implementation , the latest and probably last recourse proposed is to disperse boric acid - a radiation retardant - all over everything in a blind "shotgun" strategy. How that will do anything to prevent the nuclear fall out from the containment bed which is now supposedly exposed to the open air, remains a mystery. And another update from Kyodo: "Fuel rods damage at Fukushima's 2 reactors estimated at 70%, 33%"

From Reuters:

Nuclear power plant operator Tokyo Electric Power said on Wednesday that it is considering dispersing boric acid, a fire retardant, over the Fukushima Daiichi plant's No. 4 reactor from a helicopter.

The plant operator also said a fire seen earlier in the day at the No.4 reactor was no longer visible.

The operator was responding to questions from reporters regarding reports that it was mulling dumping water on the No.4 reactor, which first caught fire on Tuesday, by helicopter.

And from Kyodo:

An estimated 70 percent of the nuclear fuel rods have been damaged at the troubled No. 1 reactor of the Fukushima No.1 nuclear power plant and 33 percent at the No. 2 reactor, Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Wednesday.

The reactors' cores are believed to have partially melted with their cooling functions lost after Friday's magnitude 9.0 earthquake rocked Fukushima Prefecture and other areas in northeastern and eastern Japan.

Around 5:45 a.m., a worker at the plant saw flames on the fourth floor of the building housing the No. 4 reactor, believed to be the same spot where an apparent hydrogen explosion caused a fire at 9:38 a.m. Tuesday. The reactor had been halted for regular checks from before the quake.

TEPCO said it had stopped fire-fighting operations after judging that the Tuesday morning fire had been extinguished. It said it promptly reported the latest incident to firefighters and local governments.

Flames were seen through the two square-shaped holes about 8 by 8 meters created in the walls of the building by Tuesday's 6:14 a.m. blast, but were no longer visible when workers at the plant tried to confirm them at 6:15 a.m. Wednesday, the utility said.

On Tuesday, the utility said water in a pool storing spent nuclear fuel rods at the reactor may be boiling and that its level may have dropped, exposing the rods. The government ordered the firm to inject water into the pool ''as soon as possible to avert a major nuclear disaster.''


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mynhair's picture

Needing power suks.

This is bullish for TZA tomorrow.

IQ 145's picture

 "The water may be boiling--" WTF do you mean, it MAY BE BOILING. Jesus H. Christ you can't tell if the fuking water is Boiling, or not Boiling? This is giving me a headache. I think I'll just stop reading this.

Mark McGoldrick's picture

I'm not a nuclear physicist, but it sort of sounds like a problem with either the carburetor or a finster rod.  Can't they just run some codes on the CPU? 

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

i thought it may be the muffler bearings.....need to check the tie-rod dipstick for confirmation....

Mark McGoldrick's picture

Can't be muffler bearings, otherwise you'd hear a rattle.


eddiebe's picture

And anyway, it's all ball bearings now.

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

Its called a 'muffler' because it muffles the bearing noise, you dumbass.

Bleeping Fed's picture

The engine dropped out several miles ago.  Now it's just a bureaucrat under the hood making vroom vroom noises so the sheeple will still think they have a functioning car...

oklaboy's picture

ya'll are worthless, has anybody checked the air in the tires yet?

RichardP's picture

Can't check.  None of the instruments are working.

zhandax's picture

All of you stay the fuck away from my car.

CheapKUNGFU's picture

heh, he said finster rod... heh

cornedmutton's picture

As self-appointed nuclear expert of this forum, please allow to try to explain the reasoning behind the thought of spreading boric acid on the damaged reactor.

Boron is a poison in the nuclear world. This means it captures thermal neutrons - becoming a radioactive isotope in the process. However, fewer thermal neutrons means fewer fuel fission events. Poisoning a reactor with borated water (dilute boric acid) is done to either (a) shutdown or maintain shutdown a reactor that is potentially capable of reaching criticality even with all moveable control rods fully inserted, or (b) provide additional shutdown margin when the structural integrity of the fuel assemblies must be called into question. As the assemblies melt due to the intense decay heat production (which is not being removed as core cooling has failed), the fuel may change geometry and portions of the blob of resultant molten metal could then potentially achieve criticality (bad).

It is not "sprinkled around" and it's not to cover up radiation in a last ditch effort to prevent "nuclear fallout." The author of this blurb, like so many others that apparently don't know the first thing about the nuclear process as it pertains to energy production, is ultimately guilty of stoking the flames of fear that our out-of-control MSM is so keen to progress.

Everybody, relax.

TeamAmerica's picture

LOL...you just told ZH to relax.  As if THAT will ever happen!

You also posted a reasoned and factual post, and thus will be targeted as an agent of The Man.   Next you'll suggest that deadly radiation hasn't already reached California and the government isn't covering it all up...  

Tail Dogging The Wag's picture

Relax, everything is under control. Trust your government and you will be safe and sound. If radiation doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger.

CNN says the new hair trend is no hair. Mutations are chic says FOX. McDonald's has just released its latest TV advert starring a balding Ronald McDonald and his two new girlfriends.


dark pools of soros's picture

a watched containment vessel never boils

prophet's picture

 I don't care who you are, that's funny right there

Paul Bogdanich's picture

"Jesus H. Christ you can't tell if the fuking water is Boiling, or not Boiling?"


You get close enough to have a good look there slick and let us know what you see before the convulsions start. 

SilverRhino's picture

Well let's see. Japan is only the robot fucking capital of the world. No one's got a drone with a freakin camera on it??

Boilermaker's picture

....as the nikkie reclaims all of it's losses in 30 minutes and the US futures erase  80 points negative instantly.

This is a fucking full-on flea circus.

What a mother fucking joke.

mynhair's picture

Project yourself into what should happen, and do the opposite.

It's a Zen thing.

Boilermaker's picture

Positively, without fucking doubt, the most laughable crock of donkey shit I have ever fucking seen...ever.

Oh, to be a pawn in the game of the rich.

SWCroaker's picture

The headlines are that the fire @ #4 "appears to be out".  They don't actually say anything like "we put it out", or "we have it contained", but instead it reads more like "when we look for smoke through our binoculars from 8 miles away, we don't see nuthin no mo.  Whew."

These guys are doing crap; they're just providing commentary on what is unfolding!

ZerOhead's picture

And well after the fact at that. They must have gone to the same disinformation seminars as Tony Haywood.

Want to get real up to date information on where it's going?

Choose the 111 images dot then hit 'play'. Northern Pacific Infrared. Last two days. Japan upper left corner in gray area.


Amish Hacker's picture

How do you say, "Heck of a job, Brownie!" in Japanese?

Hedge Jobs's picture

This was on B'berg

"TEPCO said the fire was spotted by a worker around 5:45 a.m. local time. The company later said it was no longer visible."

No longer visible? f'cking hell! everything must be fine then if its no longer visible!

knukles's picture

Like them pesky no-see-'em's.

10kby2k's picture

I didn't have sex with that woman.

SWCroaker's picture

Replying to myself here.  I just want to add that I realize that there *are* people on site, dealing with a seriously fubard situation, and that personal forays into or near the reactors carry a major risk of personal hazard and/or death.  Some of these folks may very well dose themselves to death in their efforts to do what needs doing.

What puzzle me is the lack of surveillance that hasn't been deployed.  Cameras with independent power sources, broadcasting wireless feeds, so the control peeps can see what is what, rather than wait for obvious clues.  You shouldn't have to by chance notice "smoke billowing" while "carrying batteries" from building to building.  Get some freaking cell phones, prop them up with the cameras on, and bug your butt out.  Cheap on the spot eyes, and after 5 days, surely you can have a copter fly in more robust stuff. Early detection of issues can give you a chance...

Stuck on Zero's picture

RPVs dude.  There are hundreds of them that can fly into anywhere you'd like and take HD pictures and send them back.  They're not so sophisticated that you can't get one on eBay.  There are a bunch listed here: http://www.rccarmax.com/.  I've flown them down corridors of buildings and theough the structure of bridges and returned HD images.

A few thousand invested here and there wouldn't be any question as to what is going on at the site.

zhandax's picture

Keep in mind that the coast is in shambles and maybe by the time reactor two went south (last night) was there any capability to send in any outside equipment.  Also keep in mind that since battery power went dead (likely around Monday) those reactor buildings have have been pitch black hellholes of death.  As in no interior light.  Probably everything in the country that can still fly and hasn't gone to Singapore bearing bankers has been pressed into rescue service.  Then factor in the bureaucratic bullshit between two countries, and maybe tomorrow can they get some of the useful equipment for such circumstances airlifted in.  The tech goodies are indigenous to the country, buy you can't just jump on the bullet train to rush them up from Tokyo yet...  Remember, all the Japanese car manufacturers closed on Monday and to get Honda's prototype robot, someone in command must have the bearing to remember it exists and then have the phone number of Chairman-san of Honda.  The US does not have a monopoly on beaurecratic incompetence.

william the bastard's picture

Where are the gold pimps?

mynhair's picture

Waiting for the low.  Too many morons left that need to sell.

Mostly NFLX shorts.

tmosley's picture

We're running a train on your mother.

Worker Bee's picture

But but but...Karl D says everything is fine!! And anyone who disagrees is a meany greeny!


Ray1968's picture

Yeah, I read Karl's piece. Nice to see he can use Google like the rest of us.

Cursive's picture

Ha. Ha. I'm not a Karl D hater, but if he has taken this position, I nominate him to fly over there and straighten it out.

stormsailor's picture

not a karl d hater either, he is a very bright man.  but not bright enough to know he doesn't know everything or the difference between what is and what should be. he does try hard.

me,foxy,karl and another guy learned to trade /es by practicing at night and charting for each other.  we had a lot of fun in 08 and 09 shorting the market.

Worker Bee's picture

His "Its my ball and Ill take it home" thing he has going is a bit over the top

jerry_theking_lawler's picture

up next....reactor #5....

Real Estate Geek's picture

Are they saying that the #4 reactor is a problem as well?

I thought that reactors 4, 5, & 6 were shut down cold for maintenance, and the "only" risk at each of those reactors was associated with the spent fuel storage.  And #4 storage had been on fire. 


ZippyBananaPants's picture

I guess that they will do just what the did during the Toyota disaster, the government buys the stock, and now using some of the billions to buy the whole market/

gimli's picture

Where have I heard this before ---- Hmmmm -- Oh yeah! ..... BP plans to use chemical disperants in Gulf of Mexico.

e_goldstein's picture

a little corexit, a lot of radiation, throw in a lizard and we may have created godzilla.

StychoKiller's picture

Thus spake a glowing Hypnotoad -- ALL Hail the Hypnotoad!

randocalrissian's picture

Welcome to the new reality series: "Atomic Cafe - Japan."

Widowmaker's picture

My question is who are the 50 heros at such risk assisting on the ground, and how do I get them a couple cold ones?

mynhair's picture

Dunno, tried over the Algorenet.