Reactor 4 : Spent fuel pool was boiling without water after 1/1/2012

Reactor 4 at Fukushima Daiichi

Following up this article about the decreasing of water level at reactor 4

The blogger woman in Minamisoma leaked information from an actual Fukushima worker.
According to her post, after the earthquake of 1/1/2012, the pipe of spent fuel pool for reactor 4 was broken, the pool completely lost its water.

The worker stated, Sooner or later, the truth will have to to be widely known. Believe it or not, you will only regret. Wear a mask at least.

The pool was boiling without water.


  1. IF the #4 spent fuel rod pool truly boiled completely dry, this is one of the most important and dangerous events since 3/11/11. Can anyone confirm this actually happened in any way? Can anybody confirm what the pool status is now? This is very urgent.

  2. Thank you for your precious information. Although your last comment, “the pool was boiling without water”, is bit self contradicting, it shows crucial implication. Fuels do not have to be exposed to air before they become problematic. There is necessary marin between the surface and the heads of fuels. I think real problem is another big earthquake. Whether it is a leakage of pipe lines or cracks of the pool basement, the unit 4 spent fuel pool may not be able to withstand the next big earthquake.

  3. This is serious stuff and the Japs can’t handle this. Notice the total silence from the media. Anyone within 1,000 miles downwind from this place is asking for trouble. CHernobyl affected people 1,000 o rmore miles away. They have people living a few miles away form this place. It’s a shame the public have to suffer horrible loses before they won’t stand for the lying government or corporation bull anymore.
    It’s time to close down all nuclear power plants all over the world. They can just tell people to quit watching tv and using home computers all the time.

  4. Joe, nobody could handle this. Nuclear power was always a massive game of Russian roulette and this time the chamber was loaded that is all. Japan is screwed. If another earthquake is the worst scenario, then how likely is that given this mess will not be able to be cleaned up for between 50 and 100 years?

  5. One year later decay heat reduced to the point that the fuel, if exposed, would most likely be in just a hot state. Probably in the range of 400 to 500 degrees in a freestanding state. Perhaps even a few hundred degrees hotter, but way below the melt temperatures of the fuel and cladding that contains it-well below the melt point of the zircalloy cladding around the assemblies. In effect locally hot, but no long having enough of the short lived isotopes that give off what is known as the residual heat of decay. That heat is five percent of rated power. Enough to melt the fuel without any removal. What happens six weeks later is that the short term isotopes decay away with a great degree of the associated heat leaving too to the point that the melting point of zircaloy [2,150 K (3,410 °F)is no long achievable. In that case the fuel is safe from any danger of melting and releasing fission products. Would it get hot enough to melt or catch fire to the boraflex material. Yes seems to have been the answer 13 months ago. That may not be the case today. If the above happened, ie fuel pool boiled dry and not fire, fuel melt, then we have our answer. That is we have now cooled sufficiently to prevent any possibility of fuel melt or fire. If it did not, and fire or damage occurred, evidence would have shown in substanstial increases in radiation, smoke, fire, and subsequent locally heay fallout. So if the site experience a loss of cooling to the pool for and extended period of time with out the consequences mentioned above, then there is possible proof that the worst of the danger has now passed and the people of Japan can rest easier. Keep in mind, at most, if Japanese plants offload fuel and rack it in spent fuel pools like Amercan and European plants do, there is in that particular pool the offload of one refuel cycle. Depending on size of the reactor it came out of, and configuration of the fuel, I would estimate 210 to 600 fuel assemblies total of the most recent, and by default hottest thermally, would be in that pool. All the others would be older from two years to fifteen or more. The majority of them would have likely decayed in terms of residual heat to well below melt or combustible temperatures. Keep in mind spent fuel pools do most of their work shielding nuclear fuel by use of water, not prevention of melting. The later resolves itself with a short time be radioactive decay of the shorter lived isotopes. Again, the suggestion of the quantity involved does not by any means accurately define the risk involved. Only the most recent addtion to that pool, particularly those assemblies that were added in the most recent year being the ones that are most at risk. I recall reading many years ago in “Chernoblyl Notebook” a publication that summaized the disaster written by the father of the Soviet nuclear program of his flyover of the site very early in the crisis. What was noted was that the roof was blown completely off the site and he could see into the spent fuel pool from the heliciopter. The pool had boiled dry but of note the assemblies were all standing, as in totally cooked dry, but not melted. We have at Unit 4 a pool mostly of much older fuel, and the newest fuel added to that pool most likely in the range of 9 month to two years, and only of several hundred assemblies widely interspaced throughout the pool compared to thousands of older assemblies that have long since cooled well below the danger point of combustion or meltdown. Numbers being thrown around today are alarming when the ranges are given, but the true risk given, if even present anymore as scenarios suggest, are fractional at best.

    ps: I have worked around spent fuel pools for the last twenty years and am very familiar with the hazzards associated with radiation and a Nuclear Health Physics Technician. I have been trained in radiation theory, have worked closely with fuels engineers, have covered the fuel cycle outside of fabrication or reprocessing from delivery on site to loading and refueling reactor to loading, transfering, and storing dry cask storage.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to offer your insight. From your remarks, the qualitative facts appear important in assessing the risk. One question, though – If on the off chance these more recently added spent fuel assemblies retain enough heat to melt, could they in turn melt through to other ‘cooler’ fuel assemblies stored in the same pool making the relative ages of these assemblies a moot point?

    2. I have been looking around the web for possible non-engineering fixes for problems at Fukushima like the contaminated water storage problem, and came across
      Professor Allan Apblett
      “Professor Apblett’s research targets several problems that are faced by industry and society today, and includes three key accomplishments:

      He has developed methods for the safe storage of nuclear waste and heavy metals within non-leachable ceramic waste forms. These mimic rocks that have served as the natural geological repository for the radioactive and toxic metals for billions of years.

      Apblett has also fashioned unique, innovative ways to produce high technology ceramics for use in electronics, medicine, water purification, homeland security, pollution prevention and remediation, and catalysis.”

      Do you know of him, and are there any applications of his work currently used in the nuclear industry or under development in the US?
      Thanks for your clear explanation about the spent fuel pools.

  6. All i want to know is it safe for me to go to the pacific coast in mexico on my holiday.Can I eat the fish?.Is the air safe to breath on the hills around mexico city.Am i a sane person to ask these Questions.Why is it impossible to get any educated unbiased factual information.Why is it if you are so highly trained in the nuclear industry is your grammar so appauling.Could it possibly be the same issue as with people that join other state institutions arent capable of making a living without having their backsides wiped every 2 minutes. Sorry to attack you after you have spent the time to write about what u know.Just next time leave out the part that the japanese can relax,which is an enfuriating statement.

  7. The documentary of the windscale fire is very good and it was nice to see elderly people doing interviews that are still alive even though they must have been highly contaminated.Also i have walked and camped on the hills where the radiation blew over. Saying this is a safe place i dont know,because not long after my skin was dry and my hair started to fall out in clumps.The hospital did a lumber puncture and found no evidence of a virus.Note i never stopped working and used to also go on exersice with the TA on hills just a little further away from windscale, than we used to go as scouts. Then we in manchester did not have a clue radiation was blown all over the cumbrian hillsides because it was covered up until quite recently.47 years old now and pretty fit and healthy with great head of hair.Went to see paul mccartney in the zocalo last night and got lifted onto concrete parafets above shops. had fab veiw of thousands of buzzin as well.Climbed an fell down elecky cables and a man said i was crazy.Thought he should go to cumbria,thats crazy

  8. I just wanted to say that that picture of Fukushima at night is freakin’ Eerie and Scary. I don’t know why. Just freaky…
    I really wish I could help with a donation to this great site. Whomever takes care of this site: I wish you the very best. It is a great thing you are doing. All the best to you and your family…

  9. Wow, marvelous weblog format! How lengthy have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The whole glance of your site is magnificent, as smartly as the content material!

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About this site

This website updates the latest news about the Fukushima nuclear plant and also archives the past news from 2011. Because it's always updated and added live, articles, categories and the tags are not necessarily fitted in the latest format.
I am the writer of this website. About page remains in 2014. This is because my memory about 311 was clearer than now, 2023, and I think it can have a historical value. Now I'm living in Romania with 3 cats as an independent data scientist.
Actually, nothing has progressed in the plant since 2011. We still don't even know what is going on inside. They must keep cooling the crippled reactors by water, but additionally groundwater keeps flowing into the reactor buildings from the broken parts. This is why highly contaminated water is always produced more than it can circulate. Tepco is planning to officially discharge this water to the Pacific but Tritium is still remaining in it. They dilute this with seawater so that it is legally safe, but scientifically the same amount of radioactive tritium is contained. They say it is safe to discharge, but none of them have drunk it.


January 2012