Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: This Is VERY Serious: TEPCO Drills Hole Into Fukushima Reactor #2 And Finds Nuclear Fuel Has Gone MISSING (!)

The fact is that in spite of all the massive media rhetoric claiming that the Fukushima nuclear disaster is now under control, and there is nothing that people need to fear of any longer, the truth is very much different.

This disaster is still an ongoing catastrophe where at least 3 of the nuclear reactor cores have melted down and the entire facility is throwing out a massive amount of deadly radiation that is now far eclipsing even the disaster at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union.

And now to make matters even more strange, and possibly far worse, there comes a report, through Washington's Blog, at www.washingtonsblog.com, where Tokyo Electric Power corporation (TEPCO) workers have drilled into failed reactor#2 at Fukushima, and have not been able to find the nuclear material within the reactor chamber itself!   First here is that Washington's Blog report, and I do have some comments to follow:


Tepco Drills a Hole in Fukushima Reactor … Finds that Nuclear Fuel Has Gone Missing

Cold Shutdown … or Escape of Hot Fuel?

noted last month in connection with Tepco’s announcement of “cold shutdown” of the Fukushima reactors:
If the reactors are “cold”, it may be because most of the hot radioactive fuel has leaked out.
***
The New York Times pointed out last month:
A former nuclear engineer with three decades of experience at a major engineering firm … who has worked at all three nuclear power complexes operated by Tokyo Electric [said] “If the fuel is still inside the reactor core, that’s one thing” …. But if the fuel has been dispersed more widely, then we are far from any stable shutdown.
Indeed, if the center of the reactors are in fact relatively “cold”, it may be because most of the hot radioactive fuel has leaked out of the containment vessels and escaped into areas where it can do damage to the environment.
After drilling a hole in the containment vessel of Fukushima reactor 2, Tepco cannot find the fuel. As AP notes:
The steam-blurred photos taken by remote control Thursday found none of the reactor’s melted fuel ….
The photos also showed inner wall of the container heavily deteriorated after 10 months of exposure to high temperature and humidity, Matsumoto said.
TEPCO workers inserted the endoscope — an industrial version of the kind of endoscope doctors use — through a hole in the beaker-shaped container at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant’s No. 2 reactor ….
The probe failed to find the water surface, which indicate the water sits at lower-than-expected levels inside the primary containment vessel and questions the accuracy of the current water monitors, Matsumoto said.
And while cold shutdown means that the water inside the reactors is below the boiling point, CNNreports:
Massive steamand water drops made it difficult to get a clear vision….
Given that steam forms when water boils, this is an indication that the reactor is not in cold shutdown.
Mainchi points out that reactors 1 and 3 are probably in no better shape:
The fuel inside the Nos. 1 to 3 reactors is believed to have melted through the pressure vessels and been accumulating in the outer primary containers after the Fukushima plant lost its key functions to cool the reactors in the wake of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11 last year.


NTS Notes:  OK, Now for a serious reality check and this should be alarming... The core of failed reactor #2 has melted through the containment chamber itself, and may be in fact now burrowing into the ground by its own weight and gravity.    What may happen shortly will be a bigger catastrophe than what we have seen so far at Fukushima... A China Syndrome!

To bring some readers up to speed... The concept of the "China Syndrome" catastrophe was first brought forward in the 1970's.   What a China Syndrome is, is when the core melts through the reactor containment walls and begins to melt into the ground itself due to its own weight and gravity.   The term "China" Syndrome was for the possibility of an American reactor failing, its core melting into the ground, and in theory.. Melting all the way through the Earth to China itself... Hence the term: "China Syndrome".  

However, long before a melted core would even come anywhere near China itself, it would encounter ground water within the Earth's crust.   The instant reaction between a nuclear radioactive core ("Hot Fuel" as stated in the Washington's blog article) at THOUSANDS of degrees centigrade, and water would be catastrophic.   The core would react with the water in a massive steam explosion that would throw pieces of the radioactive core high into the atmosphere attached to the resultant steam.   Such an explosion would instantly pollute the surrounding environment for at least thousands of square kilometres, making it a radioactive hell and totally uninhabitable for thousands of years!

THAT is exactly the worst case scenario that the Japanese government and the TEPCO officials have always feared, and may be happening right now... The failed Reactor #2 Core may be indeed melting into the Earth, and when it finally hits water... All hell will break loose.

OK.. That is a reality check, and we can always hope that the officials at TEPCO will have some other possible explanation... If and when they do, I sure will be waiting, and will be posting it here...

As I said before, the situation at Fukushima is far from over, and the real catastrophe may be coming...We can only hope for the best, but must be prepared for the worst!

More to come

NTS

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