Internet Anthropologist Think Tank: Remote Possibility of thermo nuclear at Fukushima

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    Saturday, April 02, 2011

    Remote Possibility of thermo nuclear at Fukushima

    More of our INTEL

    We have been sitting on this story for
    5 days now waiting for response from

    Not wanting to cause a panic we sent an
    Email to IAEA about our concern.

    Partial copy of Email: 
    Sent to IAEA
    International Atomic Energy Agency
    Tue, Mar 29, 2011 at 3:58 AM EST


    Some things there haven't been answers to
    on the WWW.
    And which I've not published,
    and won't as its the prerogative of the professionals
    to handle.

    While the spent fuel rods and some rods in #2 reactor at
    Fukushima are  MOX fuel rods ( 6% plutonium ) 
    And if the control rods were not fully deployed,
    or if the spent MOX rods were damaged in the 
    chemical explosions there is a possibility of a melt down
    and temps in the 5000 to 10000 degree range.
    If they aren't cooled.
    This could result in a uncontrolled chain reaction
    and another chemical explosion, similar to Chernobyl.
    But at the 10000 degree range is there the possibility
    of a thermal nuclear explosion?

    Its on everyones mind, unspoken but lurking in the
    backs of peoples minds. If its an impossibility I would
    be happy to publish that on my blog......excerpt removed.

    I know you have the best experts in the world working on
    this disaster and thank the IAEA for their work.

    And while I don't expect an answer,
    I feel better having put my concerns in your 
    capable hands.

    Thank you.


    End of quote:
    And they never answered. 
    But my sources indicate my Q
    was taken very Seriously by IAEA

    We have seen reports of a quarter ton of 6% plutonium
    at no. 2 reactor alone.

    This story has been broke by a professional
    April 2 20011 so we feel free to post it NOW.

    Quote from video
    "ALVAREZ: Well, my concerns--I have different kinds of concerns about the plutonium. Plutonium doesn't volatilize as much as other radioactive products do. And my concern about the plutonium in that reactor is that if the reactor starts--the core, the fuel core really goes into a meltdown and the fuel starts to slump, that quarter ton of plutonium can concentrate [inaudible] there'll be too much in one place at one time. And that can cause what they call a major criticality event. Now, when this is done by design, which was the original purpose of producing plutonium, it can lead to a nuclear explosion. We don't know what kind of explosion might happen, but it could be of a nature that could destroy the reactor vessel and its secondary containment, and that's one of these scenarios where you basically say all bets are off."

    Robert Alvarez is a Senior Scholar at IPS, where he is currently focused on nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies.
    Between 1993 and 1999, Mr. Alvarez served as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for National Security and the Environment. While at DOE, he coordinated the effort to enact nuclear worker compensation legislation. In 1994 and 1995, Bob led teams in North Korea to establish control of nuclear weapons materials. He coordinated nuclear material strategic planning for the department and established the department’s first asset management program. Bob was awarded two Secretarial Gold Medals, the highest awards given by the department.
    Prior to joining the DOE, Mr. Alvarez served for five years as a Senior Investigator for the U. S. Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, chaired by Senator John Glenn, and as one of the Senate’s primary staff experts on the U.S. nuclear weapons program. While serving for Senator Glenn, Bob worked to help establish the environmental cleanup program in the Department of Energy, strengthened the Clean Air Act, uncovered several serious nuclear safety and health problems, improved medical radiation regulations, and created a transition program for communities and workers affected by the closure of nuclear weapons facilities. In 1975 Bob helped found and direct the Environmental Policy Institute (EPI), a respected national public interest organization. He helped enact several federal environmental laws, wrote several influential studies and organized successful political coalitions. He helped organize a successful lawsuit on behalf of the family of Karen Silkwood, a nuclear worker and active union member who was killed under mysterious circumstances in 1974.
    Bob Alvarez is an award winning author and has published articles in prominent publications such as Science Magazine, the Bulletin of Atomic ScientistsTechnology Review and The Washington Post. He has been featured in television programs such as NOVA and 60 Minutes.

    As long as it is kept cool till it quits reacting it is safe.

    US Spent Nuclear Fuel Largest Concentration Of Radioactivity On Planet

    US nuclear reactors at risk.


    Japans nuclear meltdown I 
    Japans nuclear meltdown II

    Japan nuclear meltdown III

    Japan nuclear meltdown IV

    Japan nuclear meltdown V

    Big photos, close up of devastation at Fukushima

    After 8 bulling tweets I was able to get this rebuttal
    for my readers:

    Peter Joseph has left a new comment on your post "Remote Possibility of thermo nuclear at Fukushima":

    Rebuttal to “Remote Possibility of thermo nuclear at Fukushima”

    This blog and comments from Robert Alvarez are so wrong I’m driven to put them straight.

    “While the spent fuel rods and some rods in #2 reactor at Fukushima are MOX fuel rods ( 6% plutonium ) And if the control rods were not fully deployed”

    borated water (a neutron absorber). The shut down rods would have brought the reactor subcritical at the time of the quake. Other factors contribute to keeping a reactor critical (or subcritical), shape of the core, water moderation (flow, voids, temperature). Neutron poisons (absorbers) are also present in various forms inside a reactor. One significant neutron poison Samarium-149 actually doubles in the 15-20 days following a reactor shutdown. Removing residual decay heat is the problem that has caused the main difficulty up to this point.

    “or if the spent MOX rods were damaged in the chemical explosions there is a possibility of a melt downand temps in the 5000 to 10000 degree range.”

    Presumably the blog means 5k-10k Deg F? Either way the top end of 10k Deg F is far too hot . For comparison 10k Deg F is 60 Degrees above the average temperature at the surface of the sun.

    “This could result in a uncontrolled chain reaction and another chemical explosion, similar to Chernobyl. But at the 10000 degree range is there the possibility of a thermal nuclear explosion?”

    This information aside, even if the core of the reactor got this hot this could and would not result in an “uncontrolled chain reaction”. Why not? Because a critical nuclear fission chain reaction has nothing to do with the temperature of the nuclear material. This is one of the most common misconceptions surrounding all things nuclear. Although professionals use terms like “burn-up” and “burning nuclear fuel”, there is no burning in the conventional sense. Temperatures of nuclear fuels have no bearing on their state of criticality. Hypothetically even if nuclear fuel could reach one million degrees it wouldn’t cause a nuclear explosion.

    Now to address Robert Alvarez comments. Video here (

    “fuel core really goes into a meltdown and the fuel starts to slump, that quarter ton of plutonium can concentrate [inaudible] there'll be too much in one place at one time. And that can cause what they call a major criticality event. “

    The notion that a non homogenous mixture of a totally melted reactor core, with various posions, and mixed with cladding, and many other materials will settle at the bottom of the reactor and then become super critical is absurd. Also there seems to be undue focus on the fact that 6% of the material is Plutonium. Criticallity can be acheived with any fissile material for example the fissile uranium has not been mentioned (further highlighting the confusion(?)) of the speaker.

    Why is the notion of a nuclear explosion absurd? Nuclear explosions are not easy to achieve. They require highly enriched concentrations of fissile material, machined into specialist shapes, the addition of neutron reflectors (and usually neutron sources). Additionally the required concentrations of fissile material (say Pu239) are compressed into tiny masses many times their critical mass to create the super critical masses required to provide an exponential chain reaction. This all has to happen without the presence of anything to absorb neutrons that would hinder the creation of a runaway chain reaction.

    In summary, a nuclear reactor core in operation provides probably the worst environment to create a nuclear explosion, a fully or partially melted one is even worse.


    I requested the authors authority, bonifides, he refused, but I presented
    his view anyway, G


    Blogger J Wheeler said...

    The previous comment explains well why used nuclear fuel in a fuel storage pool can not create a thermonuclear explosion.

    In addition , the MOX fuel in the #3 reactor poses little risk to the public. I explain this in detail here:

    John Wheeler
    "This Week in Nuclear"

    10:14 AM  

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