Update on Japan's Nuclear Crisis

George Washington's picture

The situation at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex is getting worse in many ways, but better in some ways. Here's a quick roundup.

Reactor 1

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that roughly 70 percent of the core of reactor number 1 suffered severe damage. In other words, it came very close to a total meltdown. But things appear now to be stabilizing:

Mr. Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics, suggested that the worst moments of the crisis appeared to be receding, saying that the best information the United States had received from the Japanese authorities indicated that water was once again covering the cores of the stricken reactors and that pools of spent fuel atop the reactor buildings were “now under control.”

Reactor 2

Tepco announced that there is a crack in the concrete pit of reactor number 2 that is leaking radiation into the ocean from a crippled reactor:

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) said it had found a crack in the pit at its No.2 reactor in Fukushima, generating readings 1,000 millisieverts of radiation per hour in the air inside the pit.

Reuters noted that workers were attempting to plug the crack with concrete, but were facing challenges:

Public broadcaster NHK said late on Saturday that water was preventing the concrete from hardening and the pit was still leaking.

Reactor 3

As previously noted, CNN reported:

Authorities in Japan raised the prospect Friday of a likely breach in the all-important containment vessel of the No. 3 reactor at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, a potentially ominous development in the race to prevent a large-scale release of radiation.

The New York Times pointed out:

A senior nuclear executive who insisted on anonymity but has broad contacts in Japan said that there was a long vertical crack running down the side of the reactor vessel itself. The crack runs down below the water level in the reactor and has been leaking fluids and gases, he said.


“There is a definite, definite crack in the vessel — it’s up and down and it’s large,” he said. “The problem with cracks is they do not get smaller.”

And NHK notes that a giant crane fell over and probably crushed spent fuel rods at in Fukushima reactor number 3, which contain a plutonium-uranium mix:

(starting around 1:40 into video).

Reactor 4

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen notes that the spent fuel rods in reactor number 4 have no water, and the rods are exposed:

Aerial Views of the Destruction

As can be seen from the following aerial photograph, there is severe damage at several of the reactors (click the images for larger, high-res versions):

Chris Martenson shows where reactors 1 through 4 are located:

Other Developments

Localized nuclear reactions ("re-criticalities") have re-started at Fukushima causing "blue flashes" above the plant:

There is no indication that widespread nuclear reactions will re-start.

Greenpeace has measured very high levels of radiation some 40 killometers from Fukushima:

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Arch Duke Ferdinand's picture

    Western Canada is in the World's Sweet Spot.   

    Five Reasons Why Canada's Four Western Provinces is the Safest Quadrant on this Planet....


   OT: I quit my job... today I'm blogging and acting.

   2 min video.....Wrong Side Up....


GreenSideUp's picture

The US bombed Iraq because they supposedly had WMDs.  Yet, here we have a nuke power plant spewing WMDs all over the world and unless I'm missing something, nobdy seems to care.  

Maybe it's just me, but these days, I can't make sense of much of anything...

nmewn's picture

Is it terrorism or a "man made disaster"???...it is hard to tell these days...LOL.

Maybe if TEPCO had started several wars with neighboring power companies as it raped, tortured and committed genocide on it's own people it would make more sense ;-)

Kobe Beef's picture

If TEPCO had done all that as a sponsored puppet of a certain rogue superpower, they would definitely have been "liquidated" sooner or later.

Of course if TEPCO had oil or opium, CIA advisors & the marines would be on the ground right now. :-)

nmewn's picture

Just like Libya!...hell they even let em loose to lead the charge!...LOL.


Allah Akbar!...or sumpin ;-)

UninterestedObserver's picture

"getting better in some ways"


I guess I missed that part unless of course you choose to take ANYTHING the Japanses Govt is saying as having more than 15% truth

savagegoose's picture

pay my family $1 mill i ll go pour the damned concrete

Lapri's picture

2nd attempt to stop the water gushing from the pit failed, for now. TEPCO said so in the latest press conference. Polymer, newspaper, and sawdust failed to stop water. But not to worry. They will try it again tomorrow.



AUD's picture

This is a good summary;


The most interesting bit is his assessment of the likelihood of massive damage to the fuel rods based on his experience at Three Mile Island.

Neutron Ray's picture

Come one come all Fukushima Beach Party Aug. 18th !!!

"Hello !! If you're in Fukushima or the surrounding prefectures, be sure not to miss this great event !! Iwaki's biggest outdoor party !! This year is our 5th event, and last August we were joined by a staggering 10,000 people on the beach !!!!" Environmental - "This is a very special, fun event, but let's not forget where we are !! Outside is a great place to party, but let's look after the environment we're enjoying !! Please join us for the beach clean bonanzas, the mornings of the 18th & 19th !! And also support the activities with local, community leaders, where we'll be spreading EM Active Bio-agents that help the sand & plantlife become cleaner & healthier, completely naturally !!"

10,000 bio-robots cool maybe they can all help out at the power plant completely naturally of course. Register early I'm sure this year will be standing room only.



Plumplechook's picture

Very good presentation about the Fukushima crisis on Friday at the University of Melbourne School of Engineering by four eminent scholars. Particularly interesting presentation by Iven Mareels, Dean of Biomedical Engineering, who estimates the likelihood of a meltdown at the various reactors – reactor 1, around 70 percent, reactor 2 around 30 percent, and reactor 3, probably 100 percent.
Listen to talks and slides at :


Boxed Merlot's picture

Thank-you for the link.  These engineers presentations were somewhat reassuring though the voice inflections of the second speaker were a bit disconcerting.  These engineers carry a bit more weight in reducing my level of apocalyptic expectancy than any other information I've seen, read or heard recently.   Over-all, I'll remain in an elevated state of concern in No Cal but prayerful for success in the efforts of the brave souls fighting the good fight in Fukushima.  God speed.

Gold Dog's picture

They need a great big caulking gun! Easy peasy...I won't say it!

treemagnet's picture

I wonder if the "its never been a better time to buy" commercials have been played yet......bubbles need all the help they can get, right?  If it were America you can bet your ass they would've ran by now.

SqueekyFromm's picture

Well, I am watching this movie on Syfy, called Meteor, and they are shooting down meteors with something called Stinger missiles. Maybe they could just shoot some of these at Fukishima???

Squeeky Fromm, Girl Reporter

Lapri's picture

And the NYT article is now scrubbed clean of the reference.

nmewn's picture

All the news that's fit to censor.

Lapri's picture

Also, Reuters' article you quoted for Reactor 2 gives an impression that the crack in the pit refers to the concrete pit where the reactor is located. That is not true at all. The pit is by the ocean, some distance away from the reactor building, and it is a pit for electrical work.

nmewn's picture

Same here...it was so heavily nuanced the point was lost ;-)

Hulk's picture

Chu's an idiot. His only skill is freeze drying atoms...

nmewn's picture

"Chu's an idiot."

Yes he is.

This is a man, who after he was appointed, was surprised to find oil was a part of the energy complex and thus fell under his purview as Secretary of Energy.

He fits right in up there.

Neutron Ray's picture

Hulk has got that right about that moron Chu here's an article about insane Nobel prize winners who talk out their ass. Why isn't Dr. Science trapping all the radioactive atoms with a laser?





ZerOhead's picture

Ahhh... Chu!

Yes I concur Hulkster!

Lapri's picture

Plugging the pit with concrete already failed. My blog:



Also, check out AREVA's presentation on the plant situation:


geekgrrl's picture

Thanks... you've posted lots of important material... love your blog.

ZerOhead's picture

Listen up you little doomsday loving freak...

Repeat after me... "There is no problem at Fukushima!" :)

plata pura's picture

Time has long come for the Nipponese government to start the algal plume program.

Omer Rosen's picture

Above Fox News video:

-about 8 seconds in she says: "...melted fuel is causing a small uncontrolled chain reaction there, sending out a burst of heat, radiation, and a blue flash of light. From what we understand this is not good news for the workers trying to prevent a nuclear meltdown there."

Really? From what you understand it's NOT good news? Thanks for the analysis...

-and then about 1 minute and 8 seconds in the reporter in Japan shows off 2 dosimeters while lamenting lack of dosimeters for TEPCO workers. Wait what?


i-dog's picture

Also note that the brave dosimeter expert---risking life and limb to bring us the truth!---is "reporting LIVE from Osaka" ... 350 miles away from Fukushima!!!!!!!!! (for those Americans who can't even find their way home from Walmart without a GPS, that's like "reporting live" from North Carolina on an incident in New York).


Sudden Debt's picture

The next phase will be when hundreds of thousands of people will get radiation sickness.

And when thousands will start to die, we'll get the kind of panic that will need mayor coverups.


onarga74's picture

Actually, the nice thing is that the radioactive garbage is leaking into the ocean.  Next year when the Japanese go whaling they won't need lights.

Tunga's picture

Coverup? All they'll need to do is move the decimal point a half dozen places to the left. How hard is that? Fukushima.Fifty.Forever! ...

Psquared's picture

We will not know the truth about this for another decade when the rates of cancer and birth defects have skyrocketed.

Trying to Understand's picture

and those who work with and for the UN will continue to blame all illness on obesity and/or tobacco.... or whatever their favorite "sinful" product is of the time...

nmewn's picture

"and those who work with and for the UN will continue to blame all illness on obesity and/or tobacco.... or whatever their favorite "sinful" product is of the time..."


But of course, the nuke disaster is tax revenue neutral to negative, whereas there's just oodles and boodles compliant, zombified, mindless busy bodies to act as the tools of global statists everywhere.

And don't forget alcohol and that very worst offender...table salt!...a per grain tax on the noxious poison should be imposed globally...for the good of the people you see ;-)

mt paul's picture

those green peace guys 

should be dressed up like whales

ohbythebay's picture

So if you look at a map and the fact that this deadly disaster is spewing radioactive material into the oceans, how long before their fishing industry and the pacific ecology is affected ?

I guess we won't really be sure until Charlie the Tuna starts extolling the benefits of having 3 eyes and not to worry about mercury content because its the isotopes stored in the fatty tissues thats the real killer...:-)

Sushi anyone ?



Stuck on Zero's picture

I love this: "...water was preventing the concrete from hardening."  What???  Water makes concrete harden.  Is this more BS from TPTB.

Hang The Fed's picture

It has to be in the proper proportions...too little water, and it's a clumpy, cracked mess.  Too much water, and it's a slurry that can't harden properly.  Add to that the salt from the water that they've been dumping all over it, and that complicates things greatly.  Succinctly, though, if the crack is large enough, long before the concrete can even stabilize, the lime and sand wash out, and you're left with a pile of gravel aggregate submerged in water.