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Top-Secret Fukushima Interview: All the melted nuclear fuel will escape from containment vessel … it’s completely exposed — Nuclear annihilation of entire eastern part of Japan envisioned

Published: September 12th, 2014 at 3:57 pm ET
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Asahi Shimbun, Sept 12, 2014 (emphasis added): Yoshida feared nuclear ‘annihilation’ of eastern Japan, testimony shows — Plant manager Masao Yoshida envisioned catastrophe for eastern Japan… In his testimony, Yoshida described the condition of the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima plant between the evening of March 14, 2011, and the next morning: “Despite thenuclear fuel being completely exposed, we’re unable to reduce pressure. Water can’t get in either.” Yoshida recalled the severity of the situation. “If we continue to be unable to get water in, all of the nuclear fuel will melt and escape from the containment vessel, and radioactive substances from the fuel will spread to the outside… What we envisioned was that the entire eastern part of Japan would be annihilated.”

Japan Times, Sept. 11, 2014: “All of the nuclear materials could escape and spread. Our image was that of a catastrophe for eastern Japan,” he is quoted as saying in the government’s formerly top-secrettranscripts of its interviews with him… “This is the part I really don’t want to recall,” Yoshida said…

Yoshida was referring to the situation at the No. 2 reactor on March 14, 2011. Here’s what the final report by the government’s Investigation Committee on the Accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Stations says about the water injection attempts at Unit 2 during that time: “At Unit 2 [it’s] believed that water injection was disabled by about 12:30 [Mar. 14] at the latest. Afterwards… it is believed that core exposure and damage were underway… the seawater that was being sucked up by the fire trucks… was also simultaneously being injected into Unit 3… the thinking is that they were unable to maintain the discharge pressure that was needed by and sufficient for the alternative water injection into Unit 2. From about 19:57…  it is not believed that an adequate water injection flow could be maintained [and] water injection was either not carried out at all or was largely not carried out… the D/W [primary containment vessel’s drywell] pressure plunged rapidly at about 20:03 on March 14. So it can be believed that a leak had appeared in the PCV[primary containment vessel] or its peripherals in the period prior to about 21:55. Such damage as would degrade the containment function occurred to the Unit 2 PCV or its Peripherals between around 13:45 and around 18:10 on March 14 is given sufficient recognition, and there is an exceedingly high possibility that more significant damage occurred.”

According to the government report, “Water injection was either not carried out at all or was largely not carried out.” A report from August 2014 authored by plant operator Tepco assumes that some water was injected into Unit 2, but they conclude this “actually accelerated the melting.” From Tepco’s Press Release: “Unit 2 Pressure Increase and Fuel Melting — In an inquiry into the sequence of events leading to the melting of fuel in the Unit 2 reactor core, the report concludes that the insufficient injection of cooling water into the reactor core by fire engines actually accelerated the melting… [A reaction generated] large amounts of heat, causing pressure in the reactor to rise.”

NHK, Aug 6, 2014 (0:50 in): Water [injected] into Reactor 2… may have reacted with the fuel inside… raising the temperature significantly, and that sped up the meltdown.

Watch the NHK broadcast here

Published: September 12th, 2014 at 3:57 pm ET
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