Gundersen Discusses Current Condition of Reactors, TEPCO Claim of "No Fission" in Fuel Pool, and Lack of Radiation Monitoring in Fish

Fairewinds Energy - Condition of reactors at Fukushima Daiichi

About This Video

Gundersen analyzes new pressure and temperature data from the Fukushima reactors and containments. TEPCO recently denied that the fuel pool in Unit 4 was experiencing a partial inadvertent criticality, despite the finding of radioactive iodine-131 (an isotope with an eight-day half-life). The utility blamed the iodine on deposition resulting from the explosion of the other buildings. Gundersen takes an in-depth look at TEPCO's Theory. Lastly, he discusses the FDA decision not to monitor fish for radioactivity.

Video Transcript

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Arnie Gundersen: Hi, I’m Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds, and it’s Monday, April 18th.  I’ve been away at New York City for several days on business, and I wanted to tell you: it’s nice to be back.

I appreciate the emails we’ve been receiving, both the ones saying keep it up, but separately I’ve gotten some good technical information from some of you as well, and I really appreciate that.

I wanted to talk about three things.  The first is the condition of reactors 1, 2, and 3.  The second is the condition of the fuel pool in Unit 4.  The third is the monitoring of [radioactivity in] fish.

The first, the condition of reactors 1, 2, and 3, is actually as a result of several of you who sent me a really great link about the reactor parameters as measured by TEPCO [Tokyo Electric Power Company].  The first graph I want to look at is the pressure inside the reactor.  Unit 1 is on the left, Unit 2 is in the middle, and Unit 3 is on the right.  If you look at those, then you’ll see there’s no pressure inside of Unit 2 and inside of Unit 3.  That’s a good thing.  That shows that the reactor itself is under no stress.  There is pressure, relatively high, one-hundred and fifty pounds (150 lbs) inside of Unit 1 and I don’t know why.  I’ll have to get back to you on that.  But let’s go over to the next slide, which begins to make this a little bit curious.  The next graph is Unit 1, 2, and 3 again, but it’s the temperature inside the reactors.  If you look at Unit 3, the temperature is right at boiling, which is really great.  Very low pressure, very low temperature; that’s basically about the best they could hope for right now.  But look at Unit 2.  Unit 2 shows three hundred degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees F), or about one-hundred and fifty on the Centigrade scale (150 degrees C) inside Unit 2.  That can’t happen if it’s water.  In thermodynamics, there’s this thing called the “steam tables” and water at room pressure, which is zero [PSI] (0 lbs/Sq. in.) on these charts, boils at two-hundred and twelve (212 degrees F).  You can’t have water or steam at three-hundred degrees [Fahrenheit] (300 degrees F) when there’s no extra pressure put on it.  What does that tell me?  That tells me that what they’re measuring in Unit 2 is not water or steam at all, it’s hot air or hot hydrogen.  And that’s a problem.  It tells me that Unit 2 is not being cooled.  Now, if you look at Unit 1, temperatures are higher still, but the pressure in Unit 1, going back to the other graph, is high also.  So it can have water inside it, and [therefore] still be water cooled, but Unit 2 cannot.  Now, we’ve talked about it before, that Unit 2 has a hole in the bottom of it, so I guess we shouldn’t be surprised that the pressure is zero, but we should be very concerned that we’re exhausting hot gasses out the top of that reactor.

The last graph is a series, again, [of] Unit 1, 2, and 3, of the containment pressure.  That’s the box the reactor is inside of, and that shows that, basically, Unit 1 and Unit 3 have slight containment pressure, and Unit 2 has no containment pressure.  If you look at Unit 1, and 2, and 3, there’s two lines on 1 and 3, and there’s only one on Unit 2.  That means there’s no pressure at the bottom of the containment.  We know that to be true because there’s evidence of an explosion causing a leak.  So, this graph clearly shows that Unit 2’s containment is leaking.  The previous two graphs show that Unit 2 is not getting water inside the core.  I don’t really think that the mainstream media has addressed that:  that Unit 2 is the cause of all of this radioactive pollution [going] out into the ocean because its containment doesn’t have integrity, and its reactor doesn’t have integrity, so whatever water is going in the top is going out the bottom, through the containment, and into the surrounding soils.  It’s the biggest concern. Unit 3 seems to be out of the woods, and Unit 1 is somewhere in between.

Now I want to talk to you about the Unit 4 fuel pool.  On Friday, TEPCO had a [press] release that said they’d measured the water in the pool and they found that a little tiny cubic centimeter (1 cc), about that big, had two-hundred and fifty disintegrations per second (250 Bq) of iodine.  Now, you remember that iodine is one of those fission products that break up.  I believe that when you find iodine in a pool, it’s an indication that a fission reaction has occurred.  It can’t have come from Unit 4 because Unit 4 has been shut down for five months – unless a reaction occurred after the accident as a result of the accident.  I think TEPCO anticipated my argument, and they said, no, that’s not what happened.  The iodine fell from the sky from the explosion in Units 1, 2, and 3.  [That’s] called “iodine deposition.”  Well, let’s take TEPCO at its word.  A little box, this big, has two-hundred and fifty disintegrations per second now (250 Bq), but the accident occurred thirty two days ago.  So, that’s four half-lives.  If it’s two-[hundred] and fifty (250 Bq) now, it was five-hundred (500 Bq) eight days ago, one thousand (1,000 Bq) eight days before that, and two-thousand (2,000 Bq) eight days before that.  So, that little box, when these plants were exploding, had iodine fall into it to the tune of two-thousand disintegrations per second (2,000 Bq).  That little box is a centimeter by a centimeter by a centimeter.  If we look at a cubic meter, there’s going to be a hundred by a hundred by a hundred of those little boxes, or a million (1,000,000 cc) of those little boxes, in a cubic meter.  If we multiply that two-thousand (2,000 Bq) by a million, we get two-thousand megabecquerels in a cubic meter (2,000 MBq/sq. m, or 2,000,000,000 Bq/sq. m).  Well, that pool, this is the last piece of math here, that pool is fifteen meters deep (15 m), so imagine those boxes stacked fifteen high.  So we take the two-thousand megabecquerels (2,000 MBq) times fifteen, we get thirty-thousand megabecquerels (30,000 MBq) in that column.  If we take TEPCO at its word, all of that fell from the top.  That’s a square meter.  What that means is that the iodine deposition on a square meter was thirty-thousand megabecquerels (30,000 MBq).  That’s pushing the numbers at Chernobyl.  So, if we take TEPCO at its’ word, they have had Chernobyl-level releases on the other units which caused the iodine to fall on Unit 4.

There’s two other pieces of that, though.  Iodine is a gas, and I don’t know how a gas falls from the sky in these kinds of quantities and gets absorbed into a fuel pool.  There’s probably a thousand-to-one factor there, too.  The last piece is, if we take TEPCO at its word that the iodine fell from the sky, Unit 1 exploded first; Unit 2 exploded next, [correction] Unit 3 exploded next, sorry; and Unit 2 exploded third.  Unit 4 still had its roof on during all of those explosions, so it’s hard to imagine iodine deposition getting into the fuel pool as a result of the explosions in Units 1, 2 and 3.  But, if we take TEPCO at its word they’re claiming, basically, a Chernobyl-level release.  I’m saying that it could be that, or it could be that the fuel pool had a self-sustaining chain reaction.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was fish.  Over the weekend, the FDA [United States’ Food and Drug Administration] announced [that] it would not be monitoring fish on the West Coast, and I don’t think that’s a good idea.  If there’s anything you can do as a result of these videos besides staying informed, and I appreciate that, it’s to contact your congressperson and say, “Hey, we’re citizens here, and we deserve to have our fish monitored.”  I don’t think we’ll find anything initially, but over the next year as the little fish get eaten by bigger fish, get eaten by bigger fish, and the plume spreads, we might.  It just seems to be a prudent health risk that can be avoided by proper monitoring.

Thank you, and thank for everyone for their emails, and for those of you who pushed the donate button, I also appreciate it.  I’ll get back to you as soon as I have other information to share.

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