Reactor Casualties 6 – “risk of injury ….. negligible.”

Er, wot’s the full statement?

Severe Accidents in Spent Fuel Pools
in Support of Generic Safety
Issue 82

V. L. Sailor, K. R. Perkins, J. R. Weeks, H. R. Connell
Department of Nuclear Energy
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Upton, New York 11973
Prepared for
Division of Reactor and Plant Systems
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555

‎”While the long-term health effects (i.e., person-rem) are potentially large, it is important to note that no “prompt fatalities” were predicted and the risk of injury was also negligible.”

How come we only ever get to hear the last bit, and NEVER the first bit? And how come nuclear victims since the 1950s have had to battle to get courts to acknowledge that the first bit even exists??

Check it out for yourselves, as always take noone’s word for it. You don’t have to. It is written. Download the pdf of the above text here:

On the subject of the Fukushima Spent Fuel Pool Number 4, while some say everything is A-Ok, I asked an Oak Ridge Nuclear Engineer (who runs a blog) what his opinion was of the state of the structure holding SFP 4 up. I am not putting his link up simply because I asked and he answered and I for that I’m grateful. I do not wish to send people over to his site who would not normally go there. (For 2 reasons).

I asked for his brief view of what would happen if the structure supporting SFP 4 failed in a quake. . He wrote in reply ” Off-the-cuff (i.e., *without* doing any calculations), I’d estimate we’d see the following: 1) Some mechanical failure of the fuel, which means we’d see some release of fission product gasses; some iodine, some cesium/strontium. However, I think it’s a stretch to think at this point we’d see actual melting of the fuel or zirc fires. 2) It would significantly impede site recovery efforts – basically, it’s a very hazardous local nuisance. Recovery work would likely have to back off for a short time while some kind of entombing occurred with the fuel from the pool in order to shield and contain it.

So, this is why I think TEPCO’s making a smart approach of it – stabilize the building now, get the debris out of the pool and begin relocating the fuel rods in the Unit 4 pool to the common fuel pool. (This will involve relocating some older rods from the common pool to dry storage to make space.) This is something I think I’ll cover in my next post as time permits. Basically though, TEPCO is doing triage work – I think the concern over the mechanical stability of SFP4 is legitimate, just not the doomsday mongering, and certainly not the push to empty spent fuel pools writ large. In that sense, one does what they can do apply triage work and then relocate the rods to a more stable pool.”

In regard to the views and concerns expressed for the fate of the SFP No 4, I find myself back in March 2011, when spent fuel pools at Fukushima were burning. As occurred for sporadic periods when the then much fresher (and hotter) fuel in the pools experienced severe coolant loss.

I hope the nuclear engineer who answered is right. By now the spent fuel is decayed enough so that the heat needed to cause a zirconium fire is not present. I just hope 1. the fuel does not fall 100 feet to the ground in the next major quake. 2. If the building does fail and the spent fuel falls, I hope the workers are clear and that there is no wind or any other transport mechanism present which would loft the resultant fission and fuel dust and enable a national and international re-contamination event.

Back in March 2011 you can read my posts. I tried to figure if there was a transport vector which would carry the reactor and spent fuel pool debris any distance. (I am a bomb guy, not a reactor guy, bombs may go off at any altitude. The thermals updrafts of a bomb are awesome.) My musings were halted by the IAEA declaration of the Fukushima nuclear disaster as an event with international consequences and by the detection of Fukushima fission particles by government labs in Europe.

At the time, in March 2011, the British Chief Scientist was saying that the worst outcome from the disaster would be the deposition of fission and fuel particle within a radius of a few hundred metres of the site. And even though authorities knew that multiple meltdown was probably occurring, this fact was denied. And so it goes, and continues to go.

The document cited and quoted above states that evacuation precedes decontamination. In Japan, decontamination precedes after people have returned to their homes. People in some contaminated areas have never been evacuated. And decontamination proceeds around them.

If this is the new normal, I resist it. At the same time, should the worst happen to SFP No 4, I will not be able to restrain my curiosity at where the micro-dust from the calamity ends up. Europe? Hollywood? Bejing?

Never mind. No immediate danger. It will take, on information released by the Japanese government, more than 40 years for decommissioning of the Fukushima site to BEGIN.

How long do engineers honestly think it will take nature to finish off SFP Number 4? How credible is the threat, reported by the NRC and leaked to the New York Times, of the severely eroded reactor pressure vessels collapsing ? No credible at all if you ask an engineer.

Of course.

In 2068 when people start taking the successor of TEPCO and the Japanese Government to court, I won’t be alive. I would have died of old age by then. And at that time there will be noone alive with any memory of any of the court cases which ensued from the 1950s and 60s and later nuclear misadventures which were all claimed to have been perfectly safe.

Today the DOE demands that those who have suffered radiogenic illness prove it. The British government, well aware that at long last British Nuclear Veterans have finally laid their hands on the evidence, long with held, which is required in order for the proof and truth to emerge. They are denied access to the courts.

For weeks the favorite radionuclides of the experts were cesium and iodine, and we asked what’s the full list. It has been published now and the great unwashed turned out to be more on the ball than Dr Grimes. It was a scenario straight out of 1954. Strontium 90 was the star then. Everything else ignored, withheld, unstated.

Nuclear Power? No Thanks!!

A photograph which I believed to be a distance shot of a fuel pool fire at Fukushima in March 2011 was actually a “handout image provided by U.S. Navy, an aerial view of tsunami and earthquake damage is seen from an SH-60B helicopter assigned to the Chargers of Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron (HS) 14 from Naval Air Facility Atsugi March 12, 2011 seen from the air of Sendai, Japan. (Photo by U.S. Navy via Getty Images)” (confirmed by )

The photo was used by me after other sources presented it a shot of a fuel pool fire. I have removed the photo.

The March spent fuel pool fire was reported by Reuters, VIENNA, March 15 | Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:44am EDT, quoting IAEA as the source. To quote: “Japan has told the U.N. nuclear watchdog a spent fuel storage pond was on fire at an earthquake-stricken reactor and radioactivity was being released “directly” into the atmosphere, the Vienna-based agency said.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), citing information it had received from Japanese authorities, said dose rates of up to 400 millisievert per hour have been reported at the Fukushima power plant site.

“The Japanese authorities are saying that there is a possibility that the fire was caused by a hydrogen explosion,” it said in a statement.

(Reporting by Fredrik Dahl; editing by Michael Roddy) ” (Source: Reuters, )” end quote.

“While the long-term health effects (i.e., person-rem) are potentially large, it is important to note that no “prompt fatalities” were predicted and the risk of injury was also negligible.” (“Consequences”, Severe Accidents in Spent Fuel Pools
in Support of Generic Safety, Issue 82, V. L. Sailor, K. R. Perkins, J. R. Weeks, H. R. Connell
Department of Nuclear Energy, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973 Prepared for Division of Reactor and Plant Systems, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research,
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Washington, DC 20555 NRC FIN A3786)

It seems to me the entire nuclear establishment suffers voter-phobia. These days the authorities can’t call resisters “communists” or political names. They attempt to medicalise instead. “Radiophobe” they cry in unconsented diagnosis of the masses. Well, of all the things I am, that is one label I can prove to be wrong with a simple restatement of my name rank and serial number.

Start telling the truth. Nuclear engineers cannot the wind not to blow nor the earth to stand still. More the spent fuel from SFP No 4. It remains a threat to the National Security of Japan. And who knows what other nations.

There is something going on at Fuk and we know that experts were perplexed. I have it in writing.

Oh yea, I admit to being a plutonium phobe, a strontium phobe, a cesium phobe, Yttrium phobe and phobic in the presence of uncontrolled unsealed sources such as those emitted by the Fukushima Diiachi, and the rest.

Stop using generic units and call them by their chemical names for goodness sake. You cannot hide behind the sievert forever. Don’t you read history? Don’t you read?

We need a lab to identify the radio chemicals collected by citizens in the course of voluntary radiation monitoring. Are there any takers?

It ain’t all radon. To pin point the source, you need the isotopic fingerprint.

(We knew the bombs were French. We knew it was not Chinese fallout, back in 72).

4 Responses to “Reactor Casualties 6 – “risk of injury ….. negligible.””

  1. CaptD Says:

    Great article and I’m continually amazed that TEPCO is still able to call the shots at Fukushima despite what their tract record is…

    I (personally) believe that there is as yet an unknown reason for this; perhaps the rumors of a secret NUKE lab under or “at” Fukushima is in fact true and has given TEPCO the bargaining “chip” it needed…

    Seen these links about Fukushima issues?

    Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant?
    SECRET US-Israeli Nuke Weapons Transfers Led To Fukushima Blasts
    The Non-Battle of Fukushima
    US Circumvented Laws To Help Japan Accumulate Tons of Plutonium

  2. Albis Says:

    That photo is not from Fukushima.

  3. nuclearhistory Says:

    Thanks Albis, at the time I used that photo, it was presented by other as sources as a photograph of a Fukushima fuel pool fire. It is not. It has been removed from this page and will be likewise deleted from the blog.

  4. CaptD Says:

    Seen this:
    Forty million Japanese in ‘extreme danger’ of life-threatening radiation poisoning, mass evacuations likely

    (NaturalNews) Japanese officials are currently engaging in talks with Russian diplomats about where tens of millions of Japanese refugees might relocate in the very-likely event that the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility’s Reactor 4 completely collapses. According to a recent report by, Japanese authorities have indicated that as many as 40 million Japanese people are in “extreme danger” of radiation poisoning, and many eastern cities, including Tokyo, may have to be evacuated in the next few weeks or months to avoid extreme radiation poisoning.

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