Thursday, April 19, 2012



I've been trying to figure out the mystery of spent fuel pool 4 for some time.

Why are so many people today talking about the risks it poses when the NRC transcripts indicate its walls were destroyed?

The NRC audio file from March 16 is very clear that the walls are gone from the pool. I've gone in and transcribed the file. 

Below is a summary of the audio transcript (more accurate than the official transcript). However, I've paraphrased where you don't see quotation marks and I've left a few comments out. I don't have names but you can match my transcript with the official one available here:

You can listen for yourself to judge the authenticity of my transcript:

NRC's Operation Center Fukushima Transcript Audio Clips March 16 2011

PARAPHRASING:  With Mark 1, with station blackout you are going to lose containment.. “there is no doubt about it.”

Units 1 and 2 are "boiling down."

Units 3 and 4 have "zirc water reactions"

“No walls” on unit 4.

RE UNIT 4: “The explosion leveled the walls, leveled the structure for the unit 4 spent fuel pool all the way down to the to the approximate level of the bottom of the fuel, so there is no water in there whatsoever”

NEW SPEAKER PARAPHRASING SUMMARY OF WORST CASE SCENARIO: 3 reactors out of control  and up to 6 spent fuel pools

NEW SPEAKER SUMMARIZING WORST SCENARIO: 3 reactor "meltdowns" coupled with “up to 6 spent fuel pools in a degraded condition, possibly with spent fuel pool fires.”

ANOTHER SPEAKER (PARAPHRASING WITH QUOTES): It "has progressed" to at least "2 reactors, multiple spent fuel pools and maybe 4 reactors and 4 spent fuel pools...."

SPEAKER ASKING ABOUT UNIT 4 (Bill asking for clarification on Chuck’s interpretation of unit 4 spent fuel pool)

ANSWER “our understanding of the unit 4 spent fuel pool is it has been destroyed on the side such that it will get no water above  the bottom of the active fuel for in effect the sides of the reactor building are gone…the sides are gone…”

PARAPHRASING: The worst one is unit 4

RE UNIT 3 PARAPHRASING: When we showed up the metal water reaction going and units 1 and 2 were boiling.

CHUCK: “we’ve just  not seen any mitigation of any of the events and we would take  all the spent fuel pools and all the reactors to the final conclusion because we’ve not seen any mitigation…”



The Guardian reported on March 16 that a fire had broken out in the #3 spent fuel pool (Goldenberg

Nuclear engineer Arnie Gunderson of Fairewinds subsequently reported in one of his video-updates of the disaster that he believed the explosion at the number 3 reactor in March was caused by “prompt criticality” in number 3’s fuel pool, rather than in the reactor itself (Gunderson, 


MAJIA HERE:. If we add reactors 5 and 6 into the mix, we are actually discussing 6 spent fuel pools.

I think we can assume from the transcript above that the pools in units 4 and 3 burned, at least partially, in March 201. The transcripts indicate 4 pools were damaged altogether.

I personally saw fires at the plant over the summer of 2011 in the webcam (in May June)
Start with this link for evidence of releases in June 

There were also major events viewed on the Fukushima webcam in late November, and again in January and March of 2012. Major steam and/or smoke was documented in videos.

I believe there have been multiple fires in spent fuel pools and that the "final conclusion" noted by Chuck has been unfolding over the last 14 months.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? How Much Radiation has been Released?

Robert Alvarez, who is an established expert, was quote as stating the following in Matsumura’s website

[Alvarez]: "It is my understanding that of the 1,532 spent fuel assemblies in reactor No. 304 assemblies are fresh and unirradiated. This then leaves 1,231 irradiated spent fuel rods in pool No. 4, which contain roughly 37 million curies (~1.4E+18 Becquerel) of long-lived radioactivity…. if an earthquake or other event were to cause this pool to drain this could result in a catastrophic radiological fire involving nearly 10 times the amount of Cs-137 released by the Chernobyl accident.

… Based on U.S. Energy Department data, assuming a total of 11,138 spent fuel assemblies are being stored at the Dai-Ichi site, nearly all, which is in pools. They contain roughly 336 million curies (~1.2 E+19 Bq) of long-lived radioactivity. About 134 million curies is Cesium-137 — roughly 85 times the amount of Cs-137 released at the Chernobyl accident as estimated by the U.S. National Council on Radiation Protection (NCRP). The total spent reactor fuel inventory at the Fukushima-Daichi site contains nearly half of  the total amount of Cs-137 estimated by the NCRP to have been released by all atmospheric nuclear weapons testing, Chernobyl, and world-wide reprocessing plants (~270 million curies or ~9.9 E+18 Becquerel).

[end Alvarez quote)

MAJIA HERE: Arnie Gunderson recently put that amount of cesium in perspective:

Title: Arnie Gundersen Intervieww. ource: WBAI’s Five O’Clock Shadow Date: Tuesday April 17, 2012 5:00pm (At 25:45 in the interview): 

[Gunderson] “there’s enough fuel in that pool, that it’s almost as much cesium as in all of the atom bombs that were ever dropped into the atmosphere, 800 bombs were dropped into the atmosphere, well there’s as much cesium in that one pool as in those bombs." (

MAJIA HERE: So, what we know is that there were 4 spent fuel pools directly impacted in March 2011 at Fukushima, according to the NRC transcripts, and each of them contained the equivalent of (approximately) 800 atomic bombs worth of Cesium.

We have no figures for the amount of radioactive iodine, uranium, plutonium, and other nasties.

We have to assume that at least part of the inventories in these pools has burned. I personally think most of the inventory in 3 and 4 have burned. (I don't know what has happened to pools at 5 and 6).

Arnie Gunderson recently explained that a spent fuel pool fire is so hot that the heat will push the radionuclides high into the atmosphere (and up to the jet stream) even in the absence of an explosion

Even if I'm wrong about the entire pools being destroyed, we are talking about levels of radiation in the environment that have never been released.

Michael Collins, an established Environmental Reporter prior to Fukushima, has just measured dust from his HEPA filter at 7 1/2 X background radiation level on the coast in Los Angeles. The dust had accumulated in the filter, located inside his house, over 40 days. This is the highest level he has recorded.

West Los Angeles is on the coast and is subject to coast effects that will probably reduce the amount of actual fallout, unlike places such as Fresno, Bakersfield, Sacramento, Yuma, and Phoenix that have  mountains to the east of them and have dust and pollution problems that have already been linked to particles brought in on the jet stream.

SEE “Transport of Asian ozone pollution into surface air over the western United States in spring” J. Geophys. Res., 117, D00V07, doi:10.1029/2011JD016961 [Abstract]

MAJIA HERE: So, we are talking about very, very large amounts of radiation that have been transported on the jet stream to the Northern hemisphere.

If the entire Daichi plant becomes uninhabitable because of radiation levels then we are talking about 6 spent fuel pools, each with approximately 800 atomic bombs worth of cesium.

I believe that we are discussing the possibility of no recovery for the northern hemisphere. 

The fallout is going to bio-accumulate in living organisms and we are close to the top of the food chain.

I believe this dire possibility is why there will be no truth that is spoken by Tepco, the Japanese government, or any other government.

I also believe that this is why we are starting to see the silence broken by various individuals in Japan, the U.S., and Europe.

Former Japanese diplomats are describing Fukushima as threatening civilization.

The German media is starting to report that the plant is much worse off than publicly acknowledged

Even a US Senator from Oregon is starting to speak up, albeit indirectly and in muted form

Each of these forms of dissent tugs gently at the veil of censorship.

Each speaks, but partial truths are all that we can expect to hear.

We must connect the dots ourselves.

The pattern that is emerging from the efforts made by many -- especially through the hard work of the Enenews site administrator and commentators -- is that we are truly facing a disaster of epic proportions.

Humanity has survived such disasters before. It is hypothesized that sometime in our distant past we were reduced to approximately 3000 individuals.

The problem is that in the past we lacked the capacity to kill ourselves off completely and now we seem to have mastered it far too well...

In 2010 Micheal Meacher, a former Environmental Minister in the UK, claimed in the Ecologist that humans only have 200 to 300 years left on earth.

I don't know how long it is going to take for the radionuclides from Fukushima to make way through the food chain, but I am now convinced that we are facing very trying times characterized by rampant disease and shortages and I can only hope that we raise our collective consciousness to the point that we can cooperate during these times, rather than destroying ourselves utterly.


  1. Thanks for continuing to beat this drum. The media at this point are better defined by what they do not examine than the topics they focus on. The big question to me is how much complexity Japan can maintain as their society falls apart. IMO, Japan is the first first-world country to experience descent; they're our example for what is to come. They've got to be able to keep cooling to 50+ densely packed SFP and Containments of NPPs. As complexity unwinds from the loss of the operational NPPs, they now have 30% less electricity to sustain complex civilization than they had previously. That is huge. What falls apart then, and how quickly, and can they sustain cooling to the dead NPPs, especially the highly radioactive corium blobs at Fuku, whose grounds are just going to get more and more radioactive and difficult to work around over time? Eventually, sooner or later, if they can't cask the SFP rods, somehow they'll burn, as complexity wanes overall.

    If/when that happens, latitudes 50N-70N will be most impacted. Bioaccumulation will be variable and patchy depending on rainout, and the impact beyond more cancers will be on general immunity of the population at large, probably eventually causing some large epidemic that overwhelms the healthcare system. I'm starting a file on how to protect ourselves. Food and water security are going to become increasingly important, and food from a distance will be increasingly viewed as suspect. Just one more reason for relocalization. Organic will need to be redefined. Babies will need to be protected strenuously. The rate of change in our world is accelerating.

    For the US, we've got to mothball our clunker NPPs and cask the spent fuel in our SFPs now, while we still have the fossil fuel supports. Otherwise we'll end up just like Japan. And unless you're wealthy, there is no place to run. Eventually, there will be no 'there' there anymore to run to, as countries clamp down on migration and the pollution effects from a number of sources multiply. IMO, the conspiracy of silence in Japan is either ignorance multiplied by greed, or it is tantamount to murder; take your pick.
    (good discussion of immune impacts on the population at large)

  2. Thank you Maja-I am terrified for humanity.

  3. thank you, Majia. posted at Reality Check Rad Readings and Geiger Forum,20.msg587.html#msg587