Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen, Coast to Coast AM with John B. Wells, Nov. 9, 2013 (at 31:30 in):
Sources have told me — within Tokyo Electric — that they have no confidence that there’s any boron left between these fuel bundles. And they need boron to prevent the nuclear fuel from becoming a self-sustaining chain reaction, a criticality. So without boron in the plates — there are plates between these fuel bundles — but they got extraordinarily hot from not being cooled off the better part of a couple weeks, and they also were exposed to salt water. So that combination likely stripped out the boron. So the only thing Tokyo Electric can do is throw all sorts of boron into the water. Then pull the fuel. […]
I ran a division that built fuel racks, and these high density fuel racks like they have a Fuksuhima are very close to going critical anyway. […] Normally its .95, as high as .99, that means there’s a 1% margin before a self-sustaining chain reaction can occur. The problem there is that the fuel pool doesn’t have the ability to remove the heat if these nuclear fuel bundles turn back.— a criticality means they turn back on outside of the nuclear reactor. So they have to be extraordinarily careful that they don’t start a chain reaction in the fuel pool […] If they get close together you can cause a chain reaction, and what will happen then is the water will begin to boil violently. Hopefully Tokyo Electric is going to be monitoring this really closely and the first indication of water bubbling, they push the rods back in. The problem though is that the rack is distorted and as you pull it, you’re pulling way more friction than it was designed to handle. It’s a real problem.
So what’s so dramatic about Fukushima reactor No. 4 SFP?
Fukushima reactor No. 4 “SFP contains something on the order of 400.000 kg of hot plutonium”.
“They say that one microgram of plutonium could theoretically kill a person.”
“There are billion micrograms in a kilogram and there are 400.000 hot kilograms in this pool.”
Do the math.
And if those fuel rods are catching fire … it’s ALL OVER.
The leakage of water from these cores is bad enough but the most dangerous thing is the cooling pool of unit 4. Now it is terribly dangerous because the entire hot core of reactor 4 had been removed and put in this cooling pool shortly before the tsunami. So, there was a hot core in this cooling pool the entire superstructure building was blown off in a hydrogen explosion.
The entire area is weakened and there is a great risk of an aftershock. Now this pool contains something on the order of 400.000 kg of hot plutonium. So, the thing that people should be aware of is that TEPCO is going to begin attempting to remove these rods from this pool to some other type of storage. This has never been done with plutonium rods that have been out of a core for such a short period of time.
There is a great danger of a thermonuclear reaction if these rods become exposed to the air and the cooling pool itself is just barely containing the temperature levels of the core as it is.
The media coverage of the situation has been almost non-existent. The public must become engaged and the governments must become engaged because this is a global threat. They say that one microgram of plutonium could theoretically kill a person.
There are billion micrograms in a kilogram and there are 400.000 hot kilograms in this pool. So, if these rods combust, if the set of rods begins a thermonuclear reaction, it will vaporize the water in the pool and the entire pool can become an uncontrolled nuclear reaction open to the air. These particles will be spread through the northern hemisphere.
This is perhaps the greatest threat humanity has ever faced. And I think you would acknowledge there has been far too little attention given to this at this point and the measures that the Japanese government is discussing at this point are not sufficient, I believe. Other governments must become engaged in this.
If they are MOX fuel, containing 6% plutonium, one fuel rod has the potential to kill 2.89 billion people. If this pool collapses, as Senator Wyden is now saying too, we would face a mass extinction event from the release of radiation in those rods.
That is, if we aren’t in one already. Nuke experts like Arnie Gundersen and Helen Caldicott are prepared to evacuate their families to the southern hemisphere if that happens. It is that serious.
So now you know, if you didn’t before. We are in big trouble.
Before the Committee, Ambassador Murata strongly stated that if the crippled building of reactor unit 4 – with 1,535 fuel rods in the spent fuel pool 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground – collapses, not only will it cause a shutdown of all six reactors but will also affect the common spent fuel pool containing 6,375 fuel rods, located some 50 meters from reactor 4.
In both cases the radioactive rods are not protected by a containment vessel. Indeed, they are open to the air, which is quite dangerous.
This would certainly cause a global catastrophe like we have never before experienced.
He stressed that the responsibility of Japan to the rest of the world is immeasurable. Such a catastrophe would affect us all for centuries.
Ambassador Murata informed us that the total number of the spent fuel rods at the Fukushima Daiichi site excluding the rods in the pressure vessel is 11,421 (396+615+566+1,535+994+940+6375).
– Dr. Helen Caldicott (Co-Founder Of Physicians For Social Responsibility): What We Learned From Fukushima (Video – April 2, 2012):
Dr. Helen Caldicott: If Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 collapses I am evacuating my family from Boston.
– MUST-SEE: Fukushima Totally Out Of Control – Radioactive Fallout In the US – Reactor 4 SFP Is the Highest Risk Now: If The Cooling Water Is Lost It’ll Be Just A Few Hours At Most Before That Waste Is On Fire (RT – The Big Picture – Video)
‘Dr. Arnie Gundersen warns they need to go further than 450km.’
– Fukushima: ‘Reactor No. 4 Is Looking More And More Like The Leaning Tower Of Pisa Right Now’ – If It ‘Falls Over It’s Just Gonna Dump A Whole Reactor Core Right Out Onto The Ground’ (And Tokyo & Yokohama Will Be Lost!) (Video)
Arnie Gundersen: “… It could have cut Japan in half. But now the winds have turned, so they are heading to the south toward Tokyo and now my concern and my advice to friends that if there is a severe aftershock and the Unit 4 building collapses, leave. We are well beyond where any science has ever gone at that point and nuclear fuel lying on the ground and getting hot is not a condition that anyone has ever analyzed.”