Nuclear Chemistry Expert: Steam at Fukushima reactor could be from corium burning through containment into groundwater

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
By Paul Martin
January 7th, 2014

Judy Haar, former nuclear industry worker with a master’s degree in nuclear chemistry, Jan. 6, 2014: […] the story continues to linger, and the speculations have not stopped. […] With a high potential of fear-mongering, just the facts, please. […] First noticed in July, 2013, the plant, [Fukushima Daiichi] Reactor 3, suddenly started releasing steam. […] TEPCO […] hypothesized it was caused by rain waters seeping into the reactors damaged containment vessel which hit thermal hot spots […] On December 19, 24, 25, and 27, Reactor 3 started releasing steam, again. […] this is a strong indicator of the fragile state the site is in […] Reactor 3 ran on a mix of uranium and uranium/plutonium mixed fuel […] which experienced a complete meltdown. We don’t know for sure at this time, but the corium could have burned its way through the reactor vessel due to extreme heat, thus reaching the underlying ground water and producing steam. […]

In the months after 3/11, Haar concluded, “The Answer is Clear: Nuclear Power is Safe — The three major reactor accidents have shown the industry that even among the worst accidents, few and far between, there is little loss of life, as compared to other fuels.”

And it appears Tepco won’t be the only company in the area emitting plumes related to hot radioactive material — NHK WORLD, Jan. 6, 2014: Nuclear waste incinerator to be built in Ibaraki […] The personnel of JCO, a subsidiary of Sumitomo Metal Mining, began constructing an incinerator to dispose of low-level radioactive substances at its plant in Tokai Village, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Monday. The firm lost its business license for such processing after 2 workers died of radiation poisoning during the disposal process in September, 1999. More than 660 others in and around the plant, including residents, were exposed to radiation. […] The firm is hoping to begin using the incinerator in November […] Used work clothes and documents are among the item to be treated. […] The firm’s officials say the facility’s air-filtering system will prevent any radioactive substances from leaking outside. […]

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