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Japan: New Data Shows Fukushima Worse Than Thought, Reactor 3 Architect Says It’s Just a ‘Matter of Time’ Until Molten Core Reaches Ground Water

12/06/2011 Leave a comment

By Tsuyoshi Inajima – “As much as 45,000 liters (11,870 gallons) of highly radioactive water leaked from Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear station at the weekend and some may have reached the sea, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) said.

The leakage shows the company known as Tepco is still struggling to control the disaster nine months after an earthquake and tsunami wrecked the plant. The water contained 1.8 millisieverts per hour of gamma radiation and 110 millisieverts of beta radiation, Tepco said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

‘The source of the beta radiation in the water is likely to include strontium 90, which if absorbed in the body through eating tainted seaweed or fish, accumulates in bone and can cause cancer,’ said Tetsuo Ito, the head of Kinki University’s Atomic Energy Research Institute.” Read more.

Study Shows Worse Picture of Meltdown in Japan – “Molten nuclear fuel may have bored into the floor of at least one of the reactors at the stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the complex’s operator said Wednesday, citing a new simulation of the accident that crippled the plant in March. The simulation suggested that the meltdown may have been more severe than had previously been thought.” Read more.

Panic: Melted Fuel Near Point of Reaching Bottom Container, Barrier Needed – “The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant revealed Wednesday that melted nuclear fuel has nearly reached the bottom steel wall under the concrete… On Wednesday, Tokyo Electric Power Company, said the melted fuel has eroded the concrete base of the reactor container by up to 65 centimeters. If the erosion expands another 37 centimeters, it would be hitting the steel wall… If the fuel melts through the remaining concrete embedment, which is only some 30 centimeters, it is bound to seep into the soil. Therefore, experts say TEPCO must find a measure to prevent fuel leakage. ‘I think they must install a 5 to 10 meter barrier in the basement to prevent the worst case scenario.'” Read more.

TIME: Was Fukushima a China Syndrome?

05/16/2011 Leave a comment

By EBEN HARRELL – “The China Syndrome refers to a scenario in which a molten nuclear reactor core could could fission its way through its containment vessel, melt through the basement of the power plant and down into the earth. While a molten reactor core wouldn’t burn ‘all the way through to China’ it could enter the soil and water table and cause huge contamination in the crops and drinking water around the power plant. It’s a nightmare scenario, the stuff of movies. And it might just have happened at Fukushima.” Read more.

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