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August 19th, 2013

As of today it has been over 2-yrs, 4-months, and three-days since the operator (TEPCO) notified the world by declaring the cooling systems for units 1-4 were beyond repair and would have to be replaced. Since March 11th, 2011 the world has sat and watched the futile efforts of TEPCO and Japan in their attempt to contain the effects of the disaster 1, during the time between now and then most of us have learned that the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Plant was an ultimate failure in human engineering, mostly to satisfy the demands of its investors which in turn drove the Nuclear regulatory agency in Japan to turn a blind eye towards obvious infractions and procedures by TEPCO and its light water, boiling water reactor (BWR) designed and supplied by General Electric. Their final design and construction which produced 4.7 gigawatts of electricity made the Fukushima Daiichi installation one of the 25 largest nuclear power stations in the World. (TEPCO). Fukushima was the 1 st GE designed nuclear plant to be constructed and run entirely by the Tokyo Electric Power Company

The headlines today are wrapped around the release of 300 to 450 tons of seawater into the Western Pacific per hour over the last two and years or some 70,160 to 105,240 gallons per hour accumulated release 1.537 to 2.31 billion gallons of radioactive water used to cool the Spent Fuel Pools. 0.1396% or 0.2094% of a cubic mile, Pacific Ocean volume 680 million cubic miles/ 7.49E+20 gallons.
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http://www.scribd.com/doc/91853872/Fukushima-Disaster

Riding along with this sudden admission by TEPCO is their announcement relating to their construction of Ice Dams to contain the future water as it is washed through the Spent Fuel cooling ponds in addition along with their announcement that beginning in November they will be removing manually the fuel assemblies from the #4 cooling pond and placing them in Dry Storage casks. The Fukushima Daiichi plant has seven (7) Spent Fuel pools, six (6) of which are located at the top of six (6) reactor buildings, the seventh Spent Fuel pool a common pool in a separate building that suffered some massive damage from the tsunami. Each reactor pool holds 3,450 fuel rod assemblies with the common pool holding 6,291 fuel rod assemblies. Each assembly consists of sixty-three (63) fuel rods, doing the math we see that each reactor pool has the capability of (63 x 3450) 217,350 fuel rods, or a total plant possibility of 1.304 million rods the common pool has the capability of (6,291 x 63) 396,333 rods. The latest figures available today states there are over 600,000 spent rods located across the seven locations.

The announcement of the beginning removal of assemblies at the Reactor #4 in November, an action based on the poor structural condition of the building and its support above cooling ponds will involved the manual removal of 1,535 assemblies [96,605 rods] of which the staff at TEPCO and

various others involved in the disaster really have no idea of the rods condition. A typical solid single nuclear fuel rod includes a zirconium alloy tube or cladding wrapped around a single column of uranium fuel pellets. The cladding tube is smaller in diameter than your index finger and is about 14/17 feet long. Each uranium pellet are about the size of the tip of your pinky finger, each pellet having the energy equivalent of 17,000 cubic feet of Natural Gas, 1,780 pounds of coal or 3.5 barrels of oil. The pellets are stacked in the tube with allowance for pellet expansion during fission and heating of the uranium. Once the pellets are loaded in the cladding tube zirconium end caps are welded in place to form one completed fuel rod. The fuel rods are then arranged in bundles or assemblies (14x14 or 17x17) or any like combination, then they are inserted into a core with number of control rods that move vertically to either initiate fission of stop fission. The entire assembly in the core has a substantial flow of water passing upward through the bundle absorbing the heat from the fission creating steam to drive a turbine thereby creating electricity.

The zirconium cladding hermetically isolates the uranium pellets and the accumulated fission by-products from exposure to the water flow in the core, or the cooling tank, or the atmosphere. The rods are retired after a semistrict core cycle of several years not because the pellets are depleted but because the zirconium cladding is loosing its integrity this along with the accumulation of fission by-products in particular neutron absorbers inside the fuel rod. The spent nuclear fuel rod is placed in a water & boric acid cooling tank for an initial cool-down period whereas the highly radioactive isotopes rapidly decays this rapid decay generates substantial decay radiation and heat. After a period of time the rods are stored in Dry Casks. In a perfect nuclear world heat in the cooling pool is not a problem where it is kept between 77F and 95F, in theory it can go as high as 122F without any serious consequences. As for the radiation, every 2.75 inches of water cuts the radiation by 50%, most designs call for 25 feet of fluid over the rods. Keep in mind, according to TEPCOs estimation over 420,000 fuel rods sustained some kind of damage within the 1st 30-days of the disaster, there could be more but were not likely to ever know as tight as they are about reporting numbers from Fukushima. Now the world is looking forward to the manual removal of over 1500 spent fuel rods from the damaged Reactor #4, where they have to extract over 400 tons of spent fuel rods. You dont have to have a degree in Nuclear Physics to know that even the smallest mistake in the operation could once again lead to a cascading nuclear event with an apocalyptic end no one wants to experience. The operation will be performed from the top-down manually through the damaged building, all work performed in a radiation-contaminated environment.

Worse-case scenario, one misstep with a rod and it could go critical, with the direct result being an above-ground meltdown with massive amount of radioactive fallout along with no way to stop it best-case they succeed in safely removing 400 tons of spent fuel into Dry Casks or into another temp cooling pond. Do nothing-case, the entire scenario only gets worse. Although across the world spent fuel removal is done on a daily basis at over 430 nuclear sites, it is a very delicate process that today is typically a computer controlled action accomplished with precision with robotic mechanisms. There is no doubt in anyones mind that the manual removal of the assemblies will be a ticklish task, one only hopes that science and the nuclear industry cooperates and pulls it off if not? Consider the obstacles: The racks inside the pool (with the fuel) were damage by the explosion The Zirconium cladding burned when the water levels dropped to what extent is not known, something we wont know until they are removed, it is known that when it was believed that the cooling water had boiled off that the fuel rods released caesium-134, and caesium-137 indicating significant damage Saltwater cooling has cause corrosion of the pool wall (it softens concrete) and the fuel rods and racks The #4 structure is sinking (liquefaction result of all the water) The robotic cranes that normally lift the fuel are no more, couple with no computer-guided removal leaving the manual process The process will require humans, all the time being bombarded with radiation, both during the extraction and the placement in casks The process will have to be repeated over and over again for more than 1500 times Moving damaged nuclear fuel in the noted conditions will create the possibility of rods coming in contact with other rods or close too, creating the possibility of a critical chain reaction that cannot be stopped. With regard to the water one other note: They are dealing with massive amounts of groundwater flowing through the site adding to this is the endless flood of seawater being pumped 24/7 to keep the situation somewhat under control. The influx of this additional water added to the ground water is

creating ground subsidence issues, morphing into liquefaction under the buildings. TEPCO in an attempt to eliminate or stall the liquefaction is pumping water out of the buildings, only to realize that this is increasing the flow rate adding to the ground issues, their hope is to stop the further deterioration of the soil reducing the structural shift, which in the short term is causing the contents of the cooling pools to shift. It is important to remember that any water that flows into the buildings it becomes highly radioactive along with coming into contact with the melted cores in 1, 2, and 3, where the rods have penetrated the reactor core and are calculated at being a hot pile beneath the containment shell. Remarks have been thrown about that TEPCO has been extremely lucky up to this point due to the fact of what is known of the damaged rods and the racks that secure them which in some minds leads to the fact that none are in close proximity of each other if they were the possibility of a nuclear chain reaction would have been very high. In addition to the unknown state of the rods and racks rides the physical and mental state of the workers that will be charged with the manual removal, whereas they will be exposed to the fuel rods during their removal. Needless to say, an alert presence will be required of the straw-bosses who oversee the extraction process hindered by their protective outer suit it stands-to-reason that their physical senses will be limited especially their eyesight all weighting against the precise control of the cranes and other devices used to transfer the assemblies to the casks or the ground level spent-fuel pool next to reactor #4. That the working environment will not be a normal one is given, the workers will be hot, very uncomfortable with their movements restricted plus the reduction of their senses, now load up a healthy pile of anxiety standing on a structure that

could collapse at any time. They will have to be recycled often, where even with their radiation suit the continuous bombardment of nuclear material will overwhelm their protection. Some continue to compare Fukushima to Chernobyl, although Chernobyl in itself was a disaster, Chernobyl had one reactor where at Fukushima there are six. In this there is really no comparison, now add the flow of contaminated water into the Pacific and into the atmosphere of one vs six and the numbers explode. While Chernobyl was a disaster, it was eventually buried beneath a concrete sarcophagus poured by over 100,000 workers Fukushima as we notice is a horse of a different color and has within its structures over 4400 tons of nuclear fuel rods - dwarfing the nuclear fuel at Chernobyl. The latest estimate is that the workers in Fukushima extraction will be continuously exposed to 100 to 250 milliSieverts most contractors refusing to work under the higher value. The nuclear industry around the world is holding its breath, with all external appendages crossed praying for a successful conclusion to the #4 fuel rod removal. At Fukushima we find six top-floor spent-fuel-pools, all with fuel that needs to be removed - #4 being only the pressing issue well I would imagine #3 will have to be next as it also is damaged. Consider, spent-fuel-pools were never intended for long-term-storage, created only for a short-time cooling of the rods, yet it has become acceptable practice at every reactor site in the world. As of 2011 there are 104 commercial reactors in the USA, 69 PWRs, and 35 BWRs, all nuclear power plants (104) were constructed by 1977 or earlier. All have a similar setup to Fukushima and its spent-fuel-cooling and its following process.2 More than 30 million highly radioactive spent-fuel-rods are in
2

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nuclear_reactors

vulnerable storage pools at reactors in the USA. These at 51-sites contain some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the Planet all in unsafe conditions open to attacks and natural disaster. Another fear not yet realized is the 3 each 100-ton melted cores beneath 3 reactors, the scientists involved can only speculate on their depth beneath the ground. What little news leaks out of TEPCO and the Japanese government demonstrates that the barriers put in place to impede the flow of contaminated ground water have failed, along with the failure of robots, cameras and temperature gauges. Now couple this with their failure to decontaminate the immediate surrounding cities. One serious fear is the breeching of the Tokyo aquifer by the contaminates if it is ever breeched creating a disaster that would call for the evacuation of some 40+ million people. Unfortunately due to the unknown aspect of the cores and the run off from the seawater used to cool the spent-fuel-pools, our society is experiencing what appears to be an endless release in the Pacific, a release that will effect not only our lives but that of our childrens lifetime. On the coastal regions of the North and South Pacific no-one is immune to the effects of the released contaminated water some studies have shown an increase in mortality in North America and an increase in infant thyroid problems in the western states and British Columbia. As for that leakage into the Pacific the North Pacific Current (North Pacific Drift) is the product of two currents, the Kuroshio 3 and the Oyashio Currents the former being a north driven current from north of the Equator and the latter a south driven current from the sub-Arctic they combine offshore Japan and flow eastward between 40 and 50 north this resultant current is the northern section of the North Pacific Sub-Tropical Gyre near the southern coast of British Columbia it splits one onto the California Current and one north in the Alaska Current.

http://www1.kaiho.mlit.go.jp/KANKYO/KAIYO/qboc/index_E.html

Monitoring on the West Coast of North America has demonstrated the impact of the release of radioactive elements into the atmosphere, carried by the Prevailing Westerlies across the wide Pacific the Westerlies flow normally between 35 to 65 latitude 24/7/365. They are strongest in the Winter as the pressure is lower over the poles. As wind speed varies with respect to local conditions an average westerly wind speed is not available to calculate an impact on any particular location if a massive release of nuclear material did happen yet rest assured that with the combination of the ocean current and the wind as shown in from the primary disaster that contaminated material showed up at West Coast monitoring stations twodays later. We know that the extraction process projected for November has never been done before from a severely damage pool, having to guide manually the heavy unwieldy assemblies in and around the wreckage in the pool some suggest encasing the entire pool in concrete yet considering the condition of the structure almost as dangerous as the extraction.

In reality there is really no place to hide from the effects of Fukushima, just as there is no possible way to describe the results of a cascading nuclear release if any part of its clean up meets with an event. The collateral damage will continue for decades, even if they stay the way things exist today, something we cannot believe will stay in a semi-calm mode with 300 to 450 tons of contaminated water leaking into the Pacific while the land is subsiding, corrosion is actively doing its part, and just maybe another large earthquake around the corner. Every day the odds run toward an apocalyptical event there are no computer models that tell us how such an event will manifest itself. One value is for sure, when the day arrives millions will die if things are left as is, and billions could die if things get any worse. The question remains where we know that it will take years to extract all the rods from just reactor number 4 whereas the professionals in the Nuclear industry understand that risk of the remaining rods in the pool that the risk of criticality increases daily. Every spent-fuel-pool at Fukushima has its own set of problems, each problem capable of creating a self-sustaining nuclear reaction above ground, there is also the fact that as of today were not sure of the physical integrity of the fuel assemblies. A condition that wont be known until an attempt is made to remove the bundles. A non-typical scenario would be the spent fuel in #4 having the cooling water boil off or leak out, this would cause the zirconium cladding to catch

fire as it is exposed to the atmosphere (which has already happened at least once, when a rodent chewed through an electrical line and cooling was stopped for days). Once the integrity of the pool is compromised the criticalities will cascade out of control, where the structure will collapse with the contents of the pool as a pile of rubble on the ground releasing an enormous amount of radioactivity or as mentioned a Open-air Super Reactor spectacular. If this happened, forget any humans being at not only #4, but also the remaining five and their associated pools with no human monitoring, control of the continued cooling operations it would only be a matter of time until the entire site was at a maximum risk of a massive criticality tons and tons of fuel ending up in blobs on the ground with an immeasurable release of radiation. Mathematically, it is almost impossible to quantify in terms of the resulting contamination, where a separate set of values would be needed to be performed for every nuclear element within the fuel, and whether of not the fuel exploded, burned, fissioned, melted, or was doused with water in an attempt to cool it off and maybe poured into the ocean. The event wouldnt stop at Fukushima, whereas because of the fallout, nuke plants on the east coast of Japan would have to be evacuated (if the levels got too high), leading to failure and fires/explosions at the plants. There is no doubt that the northern end of Japan would be uninhabitable, although some say it is already. It is equally difficult to predict the effect downwind in North America, where the immediate results will depend on the direction and strength of the wind along with local rainfall rest assured if the chain-reaction continues over an extended duration, North Americans will find few places to hide along with a huge amount of radioactive material making it way into the Pacific.

Since the 2nd week of March 2011 Fukushima has been dangerous, whereas the world media, governments, nuclear agencies, health organizations, weather reporters including the healthcare industry has ignored the on-going triple meltdowns that have never been contained. The industry worldwide has spent copious buckets of bucks to downplay the Fukushima event, mainly to keep the nuclear industry intact. Take for instance when TEPCO released an announcement of achieving a cold shutdown, over 300 mainstream news outlets world wide ran the erroneous cold shutdown story repeatedly, which couldnt be further from the truthanother example of one of TEPCOs lies to placate the public picked up by the industry and splashed across the world. The release during the last ten-days concerning the groundwater by TEPCO makes one wonder if like always news announcements by TEPCO usually runs on the its-not-sobad, which translates into something worse than theyre reporting.

The only chance of any success in any operation at Fukushima is to remove the money people, turn it over to the engineers, scientists and qualified workers with an unlimited world wide budget these are the people who will and have taken the disaster seriously, some say there is no-one better qualified to contain Fukushima better than the Russians.

There being little time left (after wasting 2+ years) the world leaders should only be concerned with solving the problem, this regardless of what theyre trying to hide or cover up, or how much it will cost, and the effect on the Japanese economy as it now has the potential to effect the world economy much worse than the housing bubble in the USA. The nuclear industry has got to lay all their cards on the table, if this leads to every nuclear reactor in the world being shut-down, so-be-it, And last but not least, get the Japanese out-of-the-picture, their societies structure does not condone failure, the top never wants bad news, consequently the bottom can only perform to the expectations of the rule from the top if that translates into bogus information they are more than happy. Michio Kaku said within a few weeks of the disaster, TEPCO is literally hanging on by their fingernails, this is still true today, showing time and time again they and their counterparts in the government are not capable of handling disaster. Now the world is entrusting them to execute the most dangerous fuel removal in history. Consider who rebuilt Japan after WWII? Have a wonderful life James L Bradley

Underwater silt fence with orange floats being set in the sea near the drain of TEPCO's