Fairewinds Associates Inc.

Hi, I’m Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Associates, and it’s Wednesday, April 6th.

In my previous update I talked about the possibility of an inadvertent criticality occurring at Fukushima [Unit] 1. That was based on four things. It was based on a neutron beam being detected thirteen times; it was based on the presence of chlorine-38; it was based on tellurium-129 being detected; and it was based on iodine-131 and [iodine]-132 being detected. Since I made that update to you, TEPCO, Tokyo Electric, has pulled the report upon which I based it. The tellurium data, they say, is no longer accurate. When you’re in a mode like Tokyo Electric is in, you would hope that the information you’re using is accurate. That’s a serious concern: that inaccurate information is being used in decision making at TEPCO.

This isn’t the only time; there’s a couple of these instances. When the neutron beam came out, TEPCO denied that despite the fact that the quote was from their own spokesman. There was a report of incredibly high radiation in the ocean, and TEPCO denied that and lowered the report [to an amount that was] still incredibly high, but a hundred times lower. And Dr. Richard Lahey, a General Electric scientist of great renown, was quoted [as saying] that Unit 2 had had a meltdown. Again, TEPCO denied that. So I guess I’m concerned about, one, the reliability of information coming out of TEPCO, but also that the information that’s happening in private at TEPCO is not being relayed to the public. …

Large nuclear corporations, including one called Areva, which is a French nuclear conglomerate, probably one of the largest in the industry. As reported in the New York Times on March 23rd: there was an invitation-only meeting at Stanford University on the 21st of March, this is ten days after the accident, where Areva presented some pretty significant problems that the public was not being made aware of.

We’ve been able to get a hold of the Areva report that was presented there. Now, the Areva report is pretty damning, but in fact there’s information in it that’s wrong. I will, next time, be discussing [the] problems with the Areva report that actually make the situation worse.

The Areva report talks about the fact that it’s known that the nuclear fuel in all three reactors reached five thousand degrees [5,000 degrees Celsius]. That’s beyond the melting point of stainless steel, and beyond the melting point of zircalloy which means that a disintegration of the core is pretty obvious. …

The other thing that the Areva report talks about is that they recommend control of crops and dairy products out to fifty kilometers (50 km). That’s about thirty miles (30 mi.) away from the plant. That means that they believe that radiation has exceeded well beyond what the emergency evacuation zone is, and that both crops and dairy products may be contaminated.

Areva also spends a lot of time talking about Unit 4. That’s the one that has no fuel in the reactor, but exploded anyway. They basically said that this was a core melt in fresh air. The reason the core melted on Unit 4, Areva believes, is that the fuel pool cracked from the earthquake. So the water didn’t boil out of Unit 4 like we’ve been led to believe. There was a crack in the fuel pool from the earthquake and now, with no water, a zircalloy-hydrogen reaction was inevitable.

The last thing that the Areva report notes is that probably the largest release is coming from Unit 4 because there’s no containment. And, they basically say that all of the fission products can be volatilized.

Finally, industry insiders who are aware of the Areva presentation have told me that the person who presented the presentation said this, it’s almost an exact quote: “Clearly, we are witnessing one of the greatest disasters in modern time.” Well, in the private meetings Areva is saying that this is a serious issue, but in public the nuclear renaissance continues to move forward both within the nuclear industry and within the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. …

Closing Ranks: The NRC, the Nuclear Industry, and TEPCO are Limiting the Flow of Information


  1. catman306 said...

    a video from Gunderson dated April 18


Blog Template by Adam Every . Sponsored by Business Web Hosting Reviews