Fukushima Reactors Heating Up Again … Water Fails to Cool Them Down

George Washington's picture

By Washington’s Blog


Temperatures are soaring within the reactor 2 containment vessel. And see this.

Tepco says that no new nuclear chain reactions are occurring … but admits that the water may no longer be able to cool the reactor. As NHK reports:

Attempts to cool the temperature in the No. 2 reactor of the disabled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have only partially succeeded despite the injection of more cooling water.


The temperature in the reactor has gradually risen from about 45 degrees Celsius registered on January 27th.


In the past 4 days, the temperature has climbed more than 20 degrees to above 70 degrees.


The plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company began pumping more water into the reactor at around 1:30 AM on Monday. But at 7 AM, the temperature stood at 73.3 degrees and at 5 PM, 69.2 degrees.




TEPCO says the rise in temperatures indicate that the flow of water in the reactor may have changed direction after plumbing work, and is no longer able to properly cool down the melted down nuclear fuel.


However, the utility says radioactive xenon has not been detected in gases around the reactor, and that nuclear criticality is not taking place.




TEPCO says it will increase the amount of water being injecting into the reactor to see if the temperature in the reactor drops.


The government’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency says there is a need for a comprehensive study to determine whether the reactor is actually in a state of cold shutdown.




But he criticized TEPCO and the nuclear safety agency for their handling of the matter. He says they are failing to properly explain the state of the reactors to the people.

Gizmodo notes:

Just when you thought it was over, the temperature at reactor number 2 at Fukushima's nuclear plant has soared 26.7 degrees Celsius in the last few hours. Worse: they don't know why the temperature is increasing after being stabilized for so long.




Tepco has admitted that they don't have a clue about what is going on. They have increased the amount of water pumped into the reactor ten percent, but their technicians don't know what is going on.

The temperatures in reactors 3 and 5 are rising as well.

A journalist says that a member of the Japanese parliament put him in touch with a manager in Tepco’s engineering department who told him that reactor 4 is “very unstable and dangerous”.

Steam has been filmed rising from the Fukushima complex.

Helicopters are flying over the complex to check for increased releases.

The temperature in the spent fuel pool at reactor number 3 is also up 70%.

AP points out:

The structural integrity of the damaged Unit 4 reactor building has long been a major concern among experts because a collapse of its spent fuel cooling pool could cause a disaster worse than the three reactor meltdowns.

Indeed, nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen, who used to build spent fuel pools, says that – if the fuel pool at reactor 4 collapses due to an earthquake – people should get out of Japan, and residents of the West Coast of America and Canada should shut all of their windows and stay inside.

The fuel pool number 4 is apparently not in great shape, and there have been countless earthquakes near the Fukushima region since the 9.0 earthquake last March.

Why is the spent fuel of such concern?

As I noted in March 2011, the amount of nuclear material in the spent fuel pools at Fukushima is greater than all of the nuclear fuel at Chernoybl:

Science Insider noted yesterday:

The Daiichi complex in Fukushima, Japan … had a total of 1760 metric tons of fresh and used nuclear fuel on site last year, according to a presentation by its owners, the Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco). The most damaged Daiichi reactor, number 3, contains about 90 tons of fuel, and the storage pool above reactor 4, which the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC’s) Gregory Jaczko reported yesterday had lost its cooling water, contains 135 tons of spent fuel. The amount of fuel lost in the core melt at Three Mile Island in 1979 was about 30 tons; the Chernobyl reactors had about 180 tons when the accident occurred in 1986.

And see this.


That means that Fukushima has nearly 10 times more nuclear fuel than Chernobyl.

It also means that a single spent fuel pool – at reactor 4, which has lost all of its water and thus faces a release of its radioactive material - has 75% as much nuclear fuel as at all of Chernobyl.


However, the real numbers are even worse.


Specifically, Tepco very recentlytransferred many more radioactive spent fuel rods into the storage pools. According to Associated Press, there were – at the time of the earthquake and tsunami – 3,400 tons of fuel in seven spent fuel pools plus 877 tons of active fuel in the cores of the reactors.


That totals 4,277 tons of nuclear fuel at Fukushima.


Which means that there is almost 24 times more nuclear fuel at Fukushima than Chernobyl.

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Jim in MN's picture

The problem is just that the thermal mass of the fuel is still good for several megawatts of power per unit, less if the fuel is well dispersed.  These are 750MW fuel assemblies, so even after a year they are damn hot.  It's like cooling lava, takes a while.  Big teakettles.  You could run a small city or a couple of big factories just on the residual heat from the three loaded units.

If it's not cooled and gets too hot it can continue to melt and deform and under very special circumstances, get a nuclear reaction going again.  It's just a question of how many neutrons end up being released in close enough proximity to other uranium atoms to trigger more.  There is no capacity to insert control rods. 

Keep in mind that no one has actually seen the fuel since the accident, despite drilling a hole and sticking in a camera to look the other week.  So it may be in a big pile all together, which is not how you want it.  Spread out in a thin layer, or scattered fuel pellets with distance between, is much better.  But we don't know and TEPCO doesn't know either.  It seems to be in a big pile if it can heat up that much in four days with all the water saturation we saw in the videos inside (the walls and air were full of water raining down). 

So, spray and pray continues.  Better hope it works.  If they have to evacuate the site other stuff can go wrong at other 'sources'.

bankruptcylawyer's picture

think about this. the U.S has 50,000+ troops in germany ( more than all the troops that the u.s. has stationed in europe) .  and they  have 40k in japan and 30k in korea. 


apart from the u.k. and middle east----these are the ONLY massive u.s. permanent troop deployments. 


think about it---what's surrounded by  germany the middle east japan and korea.------russia and china!!!!!!


world war iii is coming. and fukushima is going to help the u.s. teach the japanese that they better do exactly as the u.s. tells them to do or else. 

Non Passaran's picture

I just wanted to add 2 more facts:

1. The Science Mag link (see TFA) provides explanation as to why this is happening.

And one holding pool—according to Jaczko, but not Tepco—may have run out of water. The temperature of some other pools is elevated.

That's exactly what the Bloomberg article says as well. The sole and known reason is that the new cooling system isn't working well so they've added some other measures to mitigate the issue while they fix it.

GW conveniently left this out.

2. How is the amount of spent fuel - in comparison to Chernobyl - relevant here? GW doesn't say, but makes it sound like it's directly proportional to danger.

Come on people, let's get real and judge based on facts. The article is bullshit. GW is out of his element on this one and he selectively presents some facts while leaving out important information.

DionysusDevotee's picture

Which facts?  All you're adding is speculation.  The facts stated in the article are straight from TEPCO.  If they don't have thier facts right, I don't know who does.  It amuses me that Bloomberg is suddenly a nuclear expert, but TEPCO's own numbers are "bullshit" even though Bloomberg is quoting......TEPCO.  Huh?

TEPCO SUSPECTS that the reason for the rise in temp is due to a change they made in the cooling system.  If TEPCO doesn't know for sure, I think its safe to say that Bloomberg might not be all that sure either. 

From the article;
"Tepco replaced coolant piping on Jan. 26 to improve reliability of equipment following water leaks caused by freezing temperatures, Taichi Okazaki, a spokesman for the utility, said by phone today. This may have led to insufficient cooling water reaching inside the reactor, according to Tepco. "
The Article also mentions leaks, and reducing the amount of coolant.  Tell me again about "the sole and known" reason???

Oh, and..."How is the amount of spent fuel - in comparison to Chernobyl - relevant here? GW doesn't say, but makes it sound like it's directly proportional to danger."

I bet it is pretty Damn relevant if you happen to be Japanese, or care what happens to Japan, one of our biggest trading partners and allies in the East.

Again, don't call bullshit and say someone is out of their element if you arent even going to do your homework, or read for accuracy.

Homeland Security's picture

Now listen, and listen good. There is nothing to worry about. Nothing. If there was anything to worry about it would be on the big board, and there is nothing on the big board http://hisz.rsoe.hu/alertmap/index2.php That's what big boards are for, to let you know what you need to worry about. See, nothing about Fukushima on the big board. Now stop all the hysteria and go back to shopping like good sheeple, uh I mean people.

girl money's picture

Pray for Japan. Then, in the very next breath, pray for our own Washington State.

89 sieverts per hour, or 8,900 rad per hour.


So, do we keep making jokes while more and more of our kids arrive stillborn or get cancer?

Will we quarantine a portion of Washington State one day, and let those fellow Americans die alone, like the Fukushima outcasts?

Outrage dies, we follow.

Non Passaran's picture

> So, do we keep making jokes while more and more of our kids arrive stillborn or get cancer?

Source please.

> Will we quarantine a portion of Washington State one day, and let those fellow Americans die alone, like the Fukushima outcasts?

The article you quoted says the cleanup in WS will be completed by 2015.

girl money's picture

The article reads "DOE's goal is to have the work completed by 2015."

They won't put out the request for bid until April.  They are currently looking for solutions... they obviously don't have one now, because those readings are horribly high.  I'm not comforted by a government plan/goal by 2015.  I wouldn't even be waiting for April with these levels, I'd be packing belongings and dropping the key to the front door in the mail to the mortgage company.

As for the stillbirths and cancers, here's one link, interview with the research doc starts at 1:35.


Noticed your other posts... I've taken the time to respectfully respond to you and also give other readers more info.  What is your background and agenda?  It's curious that you're deflecting when we need open eyes and minds and solutions instead.

Fix It Again Timmy's picture

In every direction you look, things are rapidly turning into shit .... I wouldn't wish humanity on my worst enemy!

JW n FL's picture





make this mess of mine readable for the masses!


Federal Reserve Earnings verse Federal Reserve Loans to the United States of America


1. How much does the Federal Reserve Bank Earn in Interest Payments? From anyone other than the United States of America.

Federal Reserve $15 Trillion Dollars in Loans Bloomberg

Loans from 3 / 9 / 2008 to 3 / 9 / 2009 totaling $15,760,004,161,955.00


Getting Bigger

Instead, the Fed and its secret financing helped America’s biggest financial firms get bigger and go on to pay employees as much as they did at the height of the housing bubble.

Total ** assets ** held by the six biggest U.S. banks increased 39 percent to $9.5 trillion on Sept. 30, 2011, from $6.8 trillion on the same day in 2006, according to Fed data

** http://www.ffiec.gov/nicpubweb/nicweb/Top50Form.aspx **

The Fed’s Secret Liquidity Lifelines





2. Who are those Monies Participated Out too? That the Federal Reserve Bank Collected?

Who owns the Federal Reserve?

The Federal Reserve System fulfills its public mission as an independent entity within government. It is not "owned" by anyone and is not a private, profit-making institution.

As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve derives its authority from the Congress of the United States. It is considered an independent central bank because its monetary policy decisions do not have to be approved by the President or anyone else in the executive or legislative branches of government, it does not receive funding appropriated by the Congress, and the terms of the members of the Board of Governors span multiple presidential and congressional terms.

However, the Federal Reserve is subject to oversight by the Congress, which often reviews the Federal Reserve's activities and can alter its responsibilities by statute. Therefore, the Federal Reserve can be more accurately described as "independent within the government" rather than "independent of government."

The 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks, which were established by the Congress as the operating arms of the nation's central banking system, are organized similarly to private corporations--possibly leading to some confusion about "ownership." For example, the Reserve Banks issue shares of stock to member banks. However, owning Reserve Bank stock is quite different from owning stock in a private company. The Reserve Banks are not operated for profit, and ownership of a certain amount of stock is, by law, a condition of membership in the System. The stock may not be sold, traded, or pledged as security for a loan; dividends are, by law, 6 percent per year.



So! The question stands.. if the Federal Reserve is collecting .25% interest on $100 Trillion Dollars a Month (minimum).. Where Does ALL!! That Money Go?!?!?!?!?!

6% here.. 6% there.. Participated Out to the Shareholders.. into their Federal Reserve Bank Accounts.


So if the Federal Reserve is Collecting 6 times more a MONTH in Interest payments than is due by the United States of America (for our National Debt of $15 Trillion).. Why are the American People having too carry that debt? When the Federal Reserve is making AT LEAST 6 Times More than the Payment Due by ALL! of us?


Henry Ford-

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand
our banking and monetary system, for if they did,
I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."


If the Shareholders of the Federal Reserve are collecting their 6% of the $100 Trillion (minimum) Dollars a month in Interest payments..


Then why in the FUCK! Do We the People of the United States need to be taxed to death to pay for the Bank Bailouts?

How fucking hard is this for anyone to understand?

How can I dumb it down more for you?

How many people do you think you could explain this very simple FACT too?


When do you think would be a good time to let people know this?

Never mind Baby Boomers! I know you are just trying to sneak out without having to pick up this for shit bar tab the rest of us are saddled with!

But you younger people that will have to live this fucking nightmare going forward for a good long while should take a GREAT! Amount of interest in the facts that have been dumbed down and sourced and sited for even the most simplistic of mentalities to be able to grasp, easily.



Clip and Paste!

And then send it to everyone you know in your email box.. it is like you have to click the mouse 5 or 10 times total to educate everyone you know.. and feel free to let the dumbasses that you are sending this to as well know how simple it is to educate everyone they know..

And maybe..

Just fucking maybe!

We will be able to stop getting RAPED by the Federal Reserve and Washington DC via the Wall Street Lobby!


Thanks for Playing Along!

Add your name here! _____________________


Thanks in advance!


the world needs this dumbed down!

Fred Hayek's picture

Thanks for the update, GW. Good work as always.

I feel bad admitting it but after every one of these reports I'm thankful that I live in Massachusetts and not, say, Oregon.

Anyway, isn't it great that DOE didn't want to follow through with that Thorium reactor they ran for 5 years in the late 60's? Sure, essentially turning itself off power is interrupted is nice and the U.S. literally having tons of it lying around is nice but it doesn't end up producing fuel that can be enriched to use in ICBM warheads. So, forget it!

The Old Man's picture

Bingo!! But stock up on Duct Tape!

The Rad Monitor business will go through the roof!!!

disabledvet's picture

thanks for the update. this is yet another reason why Zero Hedge will be front and center once Apple TV comes out. CNN used their weatherman of all things on Fukushima!!!!!! HOW ABOUT A FOLLOW UP WITH HAITI??!!!! (oh, i forgot. "there's a new war in town.) Needless to say " the only other presentations were by us the ZH commentariat." and it was GOOOOODDD! And of course for that we were "targeted for death" YET AGAIN! Remember people: IT'S THE MEDIA THAT CALLS YOU CRAZY BECAUSE IT'S THE MEDIA THAT'S DOING THE DIRTY WORK! the whole world knows "we're fighting for the little guy" here...AND WE'RE IT!

DionysusDevotee's picture

I am Screen Grabbing this comments section so that when my kid is old enough I will have a visual aid of "normalcy bias" to show her.

I particularly love the guys that call the statistics that come directly from the source "wrong". 

"I know what temperature that water is, I can see if from my armchair!"

Out-Fucking-Standing!  I encourage all of you to buy heavily into precious metals... Pretty please?

Money 4 Nothing's picture

Temperatures are soaring within the reactor 2 containment vessel. And see this.

Tepco says that no new nuclear chain reactions are occurring … but admits that the water may no longer be able to cool the reactor. As NHK reports:


Soo, in other words, their admitting their fucked? End of story, moving right along...

hannah's picture

just ignore all this chit chat about nuc death and get on with your lives.....also ignore greece and ignore iran and maybe also ignore our banking collapse.....just ignore everything.

DionysusDevotee's picture

Except Madonna and Cheap beer,  Its important to have highly developed opinions about SOME things...

The Old Man's picture

Has anybody invented Freeze Dried beer yet?

jmaloy5365's picture

George must be making money off this cause most this info is not correct and delivered to create fear.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Douchebag says "what?"

the paid trolls are out tonight


DionysusDevotee's picture

Oh Rilly?  Do you do that much homework in your investing too?  Why don't you follow the links back to TEPCOS website?  Or I guess, maybe go take your own measurements?

Normalcy.  Bias.  Showing.

j.darkness's picture

sorry but you should be scared.  nuclear waste is dangerous and lasts a long time.  reactors are complex and require massive amounts of energy input to stave off entropy.  with so many dystopian memes in entertainment lately, not one of the post apocolypse survival scenarios reflects the truth of 400 nuclear reactors gone super critical.  these inefficient, hyper-complex physicists spuge machines are the biggest mistake humanity ever made.


Non Passaran's picture

I think so too. He's really full of shit.
"The temp is up 70%" - WTF does that mean? From 10C to 17C? Is that "70%"? LOL.

From Bloomberg:

Tepco switched to different piping to inject water on Jan. 26, Kobayashi said. This may have led to insufficient water reaching the melted fuel, he said.

ForTheWorld's picture

Even discounting that the temperature of the water cooling the fuel rods only increased 70%, let's think a little more about this.

TEPCO are constantly pumping sea water into a vessel containing spent nuclear fuel rods. That vessel does not have a constantly expanding size, so there's a number of possibilities for the location of all that water that has been pumped in since March 2011:

1. It's evaporated, and is continuing to evaporate.
2. There's a hole in the vessel and the water is escaping either back into the ocean (not so good for sea life) and into the water table of the surrounding area (not so good for anyone).
3. It's being boiled off constantly by very, very hot fuel rods.

If it's option three, then increasing temperatures are very bad. It's most likely a combination of all three.

Either that, or you're just trolling, and I've eaten some magical troll biscuits.

Non Passaran's picture

I think it's GW who's trolling, not I.

I agree with your arguments, but those are different from GW's story, see?

As for your arguments, where does it say that waste is directly exposed (that is, not in caskets)? And have you checked they don't process that water befroe it's discarded/released? You make a lot of assumptions, but again, I am willing to consider them. As for GW's piece, I can't even give it the benefit of the doubt. He might have as well linked to a Greenpeace press release.

Alpha Monkey's picture

I want some magical troll biscuits...

DionysusDevotee's picture

+1 for seeing the difference between an incorrect statistic, and a meaningless statistic.

They ARE TEPCOS numbers though.  I don't think that they are fear-mongering the issue.  Something tells me that...

Wakanda's picture

Are you fearless jmaloy5365?

Why not volunteer to go to Fukushima and clean that shit up?

Questan1913's picture

Wow, people are actually paying attention to these silly rumours?  If TV says no worries, it's over.  I have little use for distractions that are obviously unfounded.  TV says NO, why I am being bothered?? I'm still attempting to bask in the reflected glory of the Giants win and now this comes along..  We need a stupor bowl more often, these ridiculous stories never come up on stupor bowl day.  This is pure hysteria, but it won't be bothering me once Amoroncan Idull comes on, and I love the new commercials too.  This is what happens when I come to these sites, I always get upset and sometimes I actually start getting scared.  TV just makes me feel good,and very calm about things and never tries to upset me either.

DionysusDevotee's picture

Don't you mean "American Idolatry"?  Or is that a different show?  You should do something about getting scared when watching television.  Ask your doctor for a perscription drug, or if you don't have medical insurance, drink alcohol infused beverages.  Start at 3%, and build up to 25% alcohol.  If neither work, try the pills and alcohol simultaneously.

Questan1913's picture


Thanks.  I have started on the program and am entering the buildup period with some trepidation, but so far it seems to be working.  Hopefully I won't have to double down.

Alpha Monkey's picture

No, he meant Amoroncan Idull.

But, I challenge you to show me something in America that isn't idolized though... We have long since lost our spiritual path, replacing it with religious and consumer idols.  God bless amerika.

El Gordo's picture

Can't store anything safely at Yucca Mountain though.  Thanks Harry.  I'm sure it's much safer out in the open in leaky pools of water.

imapopulistnow's picture

Not using Yucca was stupid, just plan stupid.  You can also thank activist judges for this moronic decision.  Just keep the fuel in elevated swimming pools and when something eventually goes wrong, blame capitalism or oligharcies or some bullshit.  We live among morons.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

What does Yucca Mountain have to do with Japanese waste nuclear fuel? Is there a Yucca Mountain analog in Japan (let me guess - it's a mountain that is an "inactive, extinct, seriously we mean it" volcano.)

Buck Johnson's picture

2/3 of Japan at the very least will become permanently uninhabitable.

Non Passaran's picture

Thank you for your expert opinion.

Spastica Rex's picture

If Tepco says that no new nuclear chain reactions are occurring, I'm good.

rsnoble's picture

Oh yeah right, like the US would ever issua a warning to it's west coast to stay inside and shut the windows.  You can't go to work and pay taxes.  They'd rather have dead people and countless generations of birth deformities than any sort of panick what-so-ever.  This planet just isn't sustainable with this kind of technology in the hands of complete fucking morons who spend 24/7 trying to figure out how to conquer the world and nothing else.  I kinda like George Carlin's quote which I don't recall word for word but it was something like "when the time comes planet Earth will shake humans off it like a bad case of fleas."

dcb's picture

The japanese governemt is going to call it a hot spring and charge admission

Rastadamus's picture

I heard radiation was good for you. I'm hoping it helps my cancer.

GrinandBearit's picture

Excuse me, but I thought all the fuel had already melted through the bottom of the containment vessels... ie. China syndrome?

Nobody For President's picture

For an interesting exercise in self-education, go here:



If nothing else, you will never forget the definition of FUBAR