Nuclear Expert: “The Melted Core Cracked The Containment Vessel … There Really Is No Containment” At Fukushima Reactors

Nuclear Cores and Spent Fuel Pools Have Both Lost Containment

Steven Starr – Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at the University of Missouri/Senior Scientist at Physicians for Social Responsibility – said:

The Japanese basically lied about what happened with the reactors for months. They said they were trying to prevent a meltdown, when in fact they knew within the first couple of days Reactors 1, 2, and 3 at Fukushima Daiichi had melted down, and they actually melted through the steel containment vessels.

So there was a worst case scenario that they were trying to hide, they even knew that at that time enormous amounts of radiation were released over Japan and some of it even went over Tokyo […]

The melted core cracked the containment vessel, there really is no containment. So as soon as they pump the water in it leaks out again.

Asahi Shimbum notes that the location of Fukushima melted fuel is unknown. It could be ‘scattered’ in piping, vessels … “we’ve yet to identify all hotspots” around plant.

While the Japanese government tried to cover up the lack of containment with “mission accomplished” type announcements of “cold shutdown“, the loss of containment has been known for years.

For example, AP wrote in December 2011:

The nuclear fuel moved as it melted, so its condition and locations are little known.

AP noted a couple of days later:

The complex still faces numerous concerns, triggering criticism that the announcement of “cold shutdown conditions” is based on a political decision rather than science. Nobody knows exactly where and how the melted fuel ended up in each reactor ….

We noted last year:

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 ….

New video of the inside of the torus room in Fukushima reactor 1 shows piles of sediment:

As nuclear expert Arnie Gundersen pointed out last year:

Tokyo Electric ran a probe into the basement of Unit 1. This is not inside the containment, this is outside the containment. On the top of the water surface they found lethal radiation, 1000 rem an hour.

But then they put the probe down into the water and what’s even worse is the bottom, the sediment on the bottom, was thousand of times hotter than that. And what that indicates is that fuel, nuclear fuel, has left the containment, as particles, and settled out on the bottom outside the containment. So, I think that’s a pretty clear indication that the containment was breached. It just makes decommissioning these plants… it was going too be hard already, but this information makes it worse.

Loss of containment of nuclear fuel also exists within the spent fuel pools at Fukushima.

For example, Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer says of new video released by Tepco showing extensive damage and debris in Fukushima spent fuel pool 3:

Plenty of heavy steel beams and refueling equipment that must be cleared out of the way in order to see how badly damaged each fuel assembly is.

There is little doubt that failed fuel exists, which is highly radioactive.

Asahi Shimbum notes:

The water [inside Fuel Pool 4] was muddy and brown.

The Fukushima fuel pools continue to be one of the main threats to Japan, the United States … and all of humanity.

And the Fukushima accident is presently causing higher and higher levels of contamination hundreds of miles away … and is still contaminating wildlife thousands of miles away.  

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  • gozounlimited

    Now over 44% of Fukushima children have thyroid abnormalities in latest tests …. ENENEWS

    A total of 55,592 (41.8%) of 133,089 Fukushima children have been found to have thyroid ultrasound abnormalities…read more:

    And thyroid cancers are – mysteriously – on the rise in the U.S….. …. read more:

  • nveric

    Unfortunate has been the nuclear fission idea. Too many problems with great consequences of harm and destruction. Maybe some day an economical foolproof way can be devised. However, are the mishaps as great as being reported or less? But then, there’s the normal waste factor which overrides these problems. Maybe the downside/downfall of nuclear fission was its rush to market as the product to enable an endless energy bounty. Or, perhaps it was doomed from the start – A wartime program with its rush to production? Of course, the wartime program was not for containment.

    The most important factor of this and other stories is the continuing avoidance of responsibility. People are largely unwilling to be seen at all as having made errors or plainly having screwed up something. This human trait is somewhat understandable, but it’s not universal. Accepting and acknowledging failure is the most important lesson one learns in life. Only through failure can progress be certain. Only through accepting failure can a person grow internally. Avoidance of failure is the greatest threat people can do to themselves and others.

    Avoiding failure can lead to nowhere when risk and experimentation aren’t taken, meaning playing it safe can, and does, lead to stagnation.

    When those in our governments avoid recognition and acceptance of their failures at something, they do their worst to themselves and to the People.

    • Mike

      I see this event as an eye opening experience. Nuclear power is wonderfully efficient and clean. Yes it produce a small amount of harmful waste that is tiny in comparison to coal and natural gas. Where does the waste from these fuels go? The air we breath. If fission is done properly it is safe. We must not forget we are messing with powers that generate and destroy the entire universe, and they must be respected. Perhaps we shouldn’t put nuclear power plants in places that get 9+ magnitude earthquakes and potential tsunamis. Those places we can stick to coal and natural gas. Simple things like putting generators above ground. And having backups laying around. Perhaps hidden to avoid terrorist attacks.

      France generates 80% of their power with it and they all love it. Clean, practically pollution free energy that can power everything. Nuclear power is expensive however. But the money is well Spent on the preventive measures that can prevent these mistakes. Human error had everything to do with this disaster. Fission and fussion have the ability to give us an unlimited source of emission free energy. If done properly.

      As far as the wast. Put it on a rocket or some type of space elevator and shoot it into the sun. That’s kind of my cowboy approach. Research ways to make the wast inert and harmless would be a better idea.

      • Tom Burl Walsh

        In our present climate of criminally corrupt capitalists calling the shots, there is zero chance of safety taking precedence over profit. We need to develop renewables as though it were a war we were fighting.

  • jo6pac

    Is there any pictures of the racks in building 4 holding the MOX material. Is still in the racks or has it gone the same way? Anyone?

    • Romi Elnagar

      Try looking on ENE News or Fairewinds (Arnie Gundersen).

  • Yulek

    It should have been obvious to all nuclear agencies overseeing Mark I reactors that all reactors had melted down in large percentage. Arnie Gunderson had shown in one of his presentations about Mark 1 containment one of simulations made by NRC for such case as Fukushima (complete loss of power), and that simulation clearly shown, that after 8 hours cores should have by large percentage be melted down.

  • three mile island, chernobyl and this in the last 50 years? I’m starting to doubt the safety of radioactive energy ……………..

  • pickaname

    Play with Nuclear Power, but deal with the consequences!

    And please please enjoy your happy society filled with the bankrupt and the desolate!


  • windman

    you humans, you do not get it!
    there is hidden free energy devices since over 100 years a go. Engine running on water. engine running on electricity from the air, magnetic engine, all free energy!!! ARE YOU NUTS? why you need this radioactive poison?

    • Hug Doug


  • CaptD

    This is why they are using so much water, most of it is not even getting close to the corium(s)…

  • CaptD

    Without independent expert observers, we cannot believe anything that TEPCO says, since they have not been honest with US before!

    All of this info may just be so much TEPCO/Japanese Utility PR *Nuclear Baloney (NB)… then what?