Was That A Nuclear Cloud Over Fukushima?

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Nuclear? Blast at Fukhshima reactor 3 [Hu’s on First] Check out my Fukushima Nuclear Crisis index at www.arthurhu.com/index/nuclear.htm and the timeline at www.arthurhu.com/index/japan_nuclear_timeline.htm. I’m gathering enough information that I might be in a position to do an on-line book on the complete story of the nuclear crisis since everybody else is just putting out news stories and blogs.

Prompt Critical = Small Nuclear Bomb

I’m catching some new issues from trackbacks on the TEPCO pictures article. It’s evident that the US and even the world press has pretty much forgotten about the Fukushima nuclear crisis, but it’s far from over. TEPCO’s “plan for the future” is pretty much to let radioactivity continue to spill at baby-chernobyl levels for the next three months until they START doing something about it. They finally got a r/c helicopter to take a look at unit 4 which had it wall blown out by an explosion and fire, and have a video of the fuel pool which at least has water in it now.

They still haven’t taken a close look at unit 3 which blew out the entire west concrete wall to the ground which was built more like the Pentagon than a steel shed, and nobody can find any sign of the giant overhead crane or the bus-sized green refueling platform that shows so obviously from unit 4.

The most striking theory has been presented by
from retired nuclear power exec Arnie Gunderson. His video is all over the blogs and even conspiracy oriented Russia Today and Wikipedia, but not a peep from CNN or FOX. He theorizes that the explosion was so big and violent, on top of evidence that nothing happened to the reactor core to spill radioactive debris as far as two miles away and 1000 ft in the air that what really must have happened at the spent fuel pool in no. 3 was “prompt criticality” — instantaneous, uncontrolled nuclear fission . He thinks that enough hydrogen accumulated in a largely dry pool to blow up like unit 1, but that it re-arranged the rods close enough to create a quick chain reaction that wasn’t big enough to level a city, but still cause an explosion like that at the 1961 SL-1 which generated heat fast enough for a steam explosion that killed 3, including impaling one unfortunate soldier to the ceiling. Gunderson spotted a bright flash in the south corner of the building above the fuel pool, and says that an explosion in the pool would be focused upwards. It would also instantly turn tons of uranium and plutonium into a giant vertical mushroom cloud of debris, and explain the plutonium detected at the site, and the large debris chunks they bulldozed between units 3 and 4. There has been NO report of what caused the huge gash in the roof of the turbine building, or if anybody has taken a look inside to see what fell there, though it looks like where the big square black roof seen in the air may have fallen.

Here is the video, it lacks a written transcript, but it makes 100% sense to this MIT engineer:

Gundersen Postulates Unit 3 Explosion May Have Been Prompt Criticality in Fuel Pool from Fairewinds Associates on Vimeo.

I’m still the only guy to mention that two truckloads of explosives on Mail Call only produced a clould of about 150 ft, the size of the reactor building, but another guy as produced dimensions that also puts the height of the cloud at 300 meters or 1000 ft. AREVA estimates 300-1,000 kg ~= 2000 lbs of hydrogen were produced . That’s 1/6 of what it takes to fill a 12,000 lb Goodyear blimp, and the size of ONE 2,000 laser guided bomb typically carried by an Strike Eagle or F-117 to hit buildings or bunkers. The no. 3 blast has to have at least 5-10 times as much energy to produce a cloud ten times as high, and certainly looks like a decent 10% or better fraction of the destruction caused by the 757 (or whatever it was for truthers) that hit the Pentagon, another concrete structure. That tells me there’s no way a ton of hydrogen could have made a blast that big, especially given how different it looks from no. 1 which was clean and horizontal and did not spill tons of debris 1000 in the air.

The original image is evidently from here: http://i1211.photobucket.com/albums/cc421/therealmadrat/FukuBlast.jpg
Posted by George Valah
here

From http://economicedge.blogspot.com/2011/04/morning-update-market-thread-427-lip.html
More and more evidence points to our own assessments about the Fukushima nuclear plants being far more accurate than the official story line. Now they are finally admitting leaks in 3 of the reactors, they are admitting that the number 4 fuel pool is leaking, and now experts are considering the possibility that the number 3 explosion wasn’t just hydrogen, but that it also had a nuclear impetus that spread the number 3 fuel pool fuel all over the planet…

Gunderson says this may explain detection of Uranium at the highest levels since we started shooting the stuff at tanks in the Gulf war using DU depleted uranium rounds from M-1 tanks. They are even finding Americium, heavier than plutonium, not only in Japan but in europe, it’s nonexistent in the environment but one ton of spent nuclear fuel contains about 100 grams of americium, so you go figure how much fuel went into the air to land that far away at detectable levels. We don’t know what the effects are at “safe” levels are.

The first question was posted on March 14, soon after the explosion on this youtube video
“world’s dirtiest hydrogen explosion” with this text:

Uploaded by voltscommissar on Mar 14, 2011

The Fukushima Daiichi No.3 explosion looks a LOT dirtier than the No.1 explosion two days earlier. In this de-colorized but contrast-enhanced silent movie, the mushroom cloud is dark, nothing like the translucent shock wave seen in No.1

The building explodes in a flash then the dirty mushroom thrusts rapidly upwards. It contains large chunks of debris. Near the ground white clouds of water vapour or pulverized concrete spread rapidly towards buildings 2 and 4

Japanese nuclear engineers and government regulators must immediately explain why this explosion is so different in colour, shape and ferocity if it is allegedly only a “hydrogen” explosion. Boy, they sure make those brittle reactor vessels tough if they can remain intact whilst venting all that hydrogen and steam, then being surrounded by such a monstrous explosion.

Are we really expected to believe that the aperture where the hydrogen/steam was venting from the reactor vessel somehow magically welded itself shut during the explosion? “Pig’s arse!” is a famous Australian expression of disbelief applicable to PR spin situations like this.

then this comment showed up and later mirrored across the blogosphere including

Fukushima And The Plutonium Mystery By Mary Hamer, M.D 13 April, 2011 Countercurrents.org
(warning, I’ve previously put this site in my 911truther anti-war, pro-palestine, anti-Israel/semitic conspiracy category, but that’s for another day)

from: http://www.c-ville.com/index.php?cat=141404064431134&z_Issue_ID=12682803113175975&ShowArticle_ID=12682803113795838
comment by The Rad RiderMarch 29th 06:36am later quoted across
internet: Study the close up views of the 3 reactor explosion and you will see that the blast was not the type of explosion one would expect from the ignition of hydrogen. The fireball seen in the corner of the plant may have been due to hydrogen but it was much too small to cause the main blast. Not only that, inspection reveals that this was a directional blast. Much as if a cannon had been fired straight up from inside the reactor building.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WwNIHQvTOzs This is what one would
expect if the reactor dome exploded with enough force to take out the removable concrete pads covering it. Injecting sea water into the molten core caused an immediate explosion of steam. If the temperature of the reactor vessel had reached critical temperature, it would not have had the integrity required to withstand this dramatic increase in
pressure. If my assessment is correct, the dark colored cloud we witnessed, that was shot approximately 1,000 feet into the air,contained the MOX core and made this accident worse than Chernobyl.

Now given that TEPCO says the core wasn’t involved in the explosion, that leaves Gunderson’s prompt criticality theory as a pretty plausible explanation that needs to be tracked down and either proven or disproven.

I don’t think it’s good that the conspiracy press is taking the lead on non-mainstream explanations. The US government and media needs to hold Japan and TEPCO accountable for figuring out what really happened out there. I’ve accumulated considerable research over the past year on terrorism from before 9/11 to Fort Hood and the connection with 9/11 “truth” theories that Betty Ong and her plane were “faked” and “no muslims” and even “no airliners” hit any of the buildings that day. The one thing that connects them all is they all try to deflect the blame from radical Islamist muslims/arabs to Israelis/Jews/Mossad or opposing US involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq all the way from “I don’t think Israel did it” Alex Jones all the way down to the crazy “Zionists did it” and “Nazis unite with Palestineans who hate Jews” sites like David Duke who now appears to be working for Iran, if not the entire anti-Israel pro-Palestine crowd. I think I’ve moved to the anti-Nuclear side, but I can’t stand that whole left-wing coalition of marxists, socialists and revolutionaries (where young radical Asian Americans traditionally hung out in the 70s and 80s) that’s picking up the Fukushima issue. I do think we need more conservatives tracking this down instead of leaving it up to the “terrorists, what terrorists?” and “Israel apartheid” crowd.

Really Big Booms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAN8anmEt10&feature=related
entitled “100 tons of bombs” makes a plume that might be over 1000 ft high but it’s really hard to tell. The
Mail Call blast was perhaps 1 or 2 tons. I suspect this on is a bit over 10 tons, about the size of a “daisy cutter” bomb kicked out of the back of a C-130 to create an instant helicopter lz=landing zone that inspired the big bomb in Avatar. Robots in building 3 report too much “debris” to drive across, which is what you’d expect if somebody detonated something the size of the 1983 Beirut Barracks truck bomb =12,000 TNT on the rooftop of a concrete building. This photo shows a plume that is not as high as fukushima, at least not a solid one.


A smoke cloud rises from the rubble of the bombed barracks at Beirut International Airport.

Here’s 500 tons:

429 tons:


1500 lb (much smaller than fukushima)

13,000 lb (maybe 600 ft)

John Ross left a huge comment below that will make anybody’s head spin, but translation I think is that “I think it was a really big chemical explosion, evidence isn’t consistent with a nuclear chain reaction”, I’m e-mailing him now for a clarifcation:

http://www.fairewinds.com/content/gundersen-postulates-unit-3-explosion-may-have-been-prompt-criticality-fuel-pool

So, at 1:11 he makes a distinction between explosive rates that is not entirely correct in that the flame front in deflagration can be quite slow and no shock wave is involved. He point out a difference in #1 and #2 explosions claiming a faster flame front for #3. In fact, one can see the shock wave leaving #1 at very high speed just at the first dust at 1:27/1:28. A possible shock wave does not make itself visible in #3 at 1:50.

Unit #1 explosion shock wave at 0:03/0:04, closer at 0:22/0:23:
(my note-the debris cloud initially doesn’t go much farther than 3/4 stack height = 225 ft, the reactor buildings are about 1/2 stack height, at the end they finally drift up to top of the stacks)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5KzABEkkc10

Closer view at 0:18/0:19:

High-explosive shock wave at 0:00/0:01 looks just like:

Unit #3 explosion real-time without dramatized sound:

Deflagration:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deflagration

Deflagration (Lat: de + flagrare, “to burn down”) is a technical term describing subsonic combustion that usually propagates through thermal conductivity (hot burning material heats the next layer of cold material and ignites it). Most “fire” found in daily life, from flames to explosions, is technically deflagration. Deflagration is different from detonation (which is supersonic and propagates through shock compression).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detonation

These are related to the “Brisance” of the explosive system.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisance

The audible difference between deflagration and detonation:

The unit 3 explosion throws much more into the air. One turn of primacord, high brisance, will drop a tree. A five pound bag of flour will drop a warehouse. Speed and size are two different things.The “smoke” may well be the powdered and fragmented building’s materials
and contents.

At 4:35 he asserts that the fuel pool may have been empty. (This is not accommodated in the critique above “that any remaining water around the fuel rods would be instantly converted to steam”.) That hydrogen collected in it. That the explosive force, from whatever contributed, was directed upward by it.

–> The directed force makes a much bigger mess.

At 6:00 and 6:39 he essentially asserts that the propagation speed in hydrogen/air can only reach the realm of deflagration, or burning. However, Hydrogen transitions from deflagration to detonation, producing a shock wave, as the level of oxidizer is varied:

http://ukelg.ps.ic.ac.uk/41HJ1.pdf

http://www.gexcon.com/doc/PDF%20files/Middha_Hansen_DDT_08.pdf

http://conference.ing.unipi.it/ichs2005/Papers/120105.pdf

At 6:07 he asserts that the event in #1 was not an explosion of the same brisance as #3. Whereas the shock wave that defines detonation can clearly be seen leaving the site of the #1 event. It is possible that there was no visibility of a possible shock wave leaving #3.

At 6:24 he asserts that a deflagration does not make a visible flame, a “red flash”. However, deflagration describes the process in a flame. It will produce a visible flame if the participating materials produce black-body radiations that the viewing means is responsive to.

The proposal finally presented is that a hydrogen explosion assembled the rods or their oxide components into a critical mass. However, for not highly enriched oxide fuels a moderator is required to allow neutron-capture. That is one function of the water in a Boiling Water Reactor. The rods have to be arranged with the proper spacing within the moderator. The reaction is started with antimony-beryllium neutron sources.

Prompt criticality accidents have involved highly enriched uranium or plutonium, often in liquid carriers.

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/lib-www/la-pubs/00326162.pdf

Sometimes, people nearby see a blue flash of light due to Cerenkov radiation excited within the eye’s aqueous humor as particles speed through at greater than the speed of light in water… making a shock wave.

“Tickling the dragon”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticality_accident

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About the Author

MIT electrical engineering computer science graduate has written conservative columns on politics, race / culture, science and education since the 70s in MIT The Tech and various publications in including New Republic and National Review.