unit-3via Fairewinds.org

Beginning on Monday December 30, 2013, the Internet has been flooded with conjecture claiming that Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 is ready to explode. Fairewinds Energy Education has been inundated with questions about the very visible steam emanating from Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3. Our research, and discussions with other scientists, confirms that what we are seeing is a phenomenon that has been occurring at the Daiichi site since the March 2011 accident.

It is winter and it is cold through out much of the northern hemisphere. Hot water vapor has been released daily by each of the four Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants since the accident. We believe that is one of the reasons TEPCO placed covers over Daiichi 4 and 1. Sometimes the steam [hot water vapor] is visible and sometimes it is not. If you have been outside on a cold winter day, you have personally experienced that phenomenon when you see the breath you exhale form a cloud in the cold air. The technical explanation is that hot water vapor becomes visible when it comes in contact with cold air and condenses. During the winter months in the Fukushima Prefecture, the sea air is cold and moist, thus forming the ideal conditions to see the released steam.

Why is there still steam coming from the plants especially since TEPCO says that they are in cold shutdown? As we at Fairewinds have discussed in our many videos, podcasts, and reports, radioactive rubble (fission products) was left in each unit following the triple meltdowns. While the plants are shutdown in nuke speak, there is no method of achieving cold shut down in any nuclear reactor. While the reactor can stop generating the actual nuclear chain reaction, the atoms left over from the original nuclear chain reaction continue to give off heat that is called the decay of the radioactive rubble (fission products). The heat from this ongoing decay of radioactive rubble is constantly releasing moisture (steam) and radioactive products into the environment. The radioactive decay is gradually slowing down, as fission products decay away. The cold moist winter air at this time of year is making steam from the ongoing decay easily visible.

How much radiation is escaping? When Unit 3 was operating, it was producing more than 2,000 megawatts of heat from the nuclear fission process (chain reaction in the reactor). Immediately after the earthquake and tsunami, it shut down and the chain reaction stopped, but Unit 3 was still producing about 160 megawatts of decay heat. Now, 30 months later, it is still producing slightly less than 1 megawatt (one million watts) of decay heat.

What does that figure mean; is it an inconsequential amount? 1 megawatt of decay heat is a lot of heat even today, and it is creating radioactive steam, but it is not a new phenomenon. These hot radioactive releases [not physically hot, but radioactive hot – meaning they contain radioactive fission products] have occurring for the entire 33 months following the triple meltdown. The difference now is that the only time we visibly notice these ongoing releases is on the cold days with atmospheric conditions cold enough to condense hot vapor into steam.

Fairewinds Energy Education would like to thank our viewers and listeners for following our work and supporting our work and sending it important questions like this one. We will continue to keep you informed.

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By Broc West| 7 Comments | Featured, News

7 comments

  1. I’m tired of all these phucking lies from TEPCO and our inept media. Phucking lying, downplaying and covering up!

    Fukushima is a fuking disaster.

    Why did the US gov just order 14,000,000 pills of potassium iodine?

    hmmmm

  2. So you are saying we have a MOX Fuel reactor just breathing a Breathe Vapor on a cold day and the plant won’t blow up… Reactor is sitting on water saturated ground, tones of water poured on the reactors to keep the China Syndrome core cool that Tepco has no idea where that core is at. They intend to pump the water from the saturated ground to prep it for the rains they will have. My Question is … Based on the quality of disaster control that has been given to the world by a public company how good do you think this team of experts, rushed supervisors and Homeless workers do at not leaving the China Syndrome core exposed and if that happens what happens to building 3

  3. Hi, I’m Iori Mochizuki from Fukushima Diary. Thank you for your correction of the rumor and I greatly appreciate the contribution of Fairewinds.
    However honestly I was a little surprised to read this status because you don’t seem to know the “steam” has been observed since July 2013, when is not so cold in Japan. As I was reporting in over 30 articles on Fukushima Diary, probably the “steam” is the evaporated coolant water coming out of reactor3 PCV, which is almost the same as your view. but it has been observed since the hottest season in Japan, almost everyday.
    This is a minor point but wanted to keep it as close to the truth as possible.
    Thank you.

  4. I appreciate the quality of the information in this post. I have been frustrated in my attempts to find qualitative information (real numbers) relating to radiation releases from Fukushima. This is still a very dangerous situation, and your article above supports my hunch is that it is very bad locally, and not so very bad globally, or even on the West Coast of the US where I live. Not yet. We need to be very intent that this situation continues to improve. The data that heat from the meltdowns is far less than 1% of the heat right after the meltdowns is very reassuring. We cannot turn our backs on this mess, and so far, so good. Relatively speaking.

  5. That Reactor property looks in excellent condition for a Tsunami, couple few massive building explosions … Where did all the debris go … Tepco didn’t show an interest in knowing the exact amount of radiation around the storage tanks … I’ve yet to see a huge pile of Junk … Did they put the debris inside of the water tanks??? I’ve read a ton of posts people who have what seems to be matching guesses on radiation levels for the reactor’s … seen pictures of the water pool … not seen one picture of inside the water tanks ( debris storage tanks called water tanks???)… They missed the radiation levels around the tanks with test equipment too small to measure the radiation levels … wouldn’t you do this to hide something you already knew??? add to that They allowed the workers to be around it knowing the radiation release was much higher … Tepco now discussing splitting off from the disaster site to focus back on making power for sale … wouldn’t you only do that as a large corporation to limit the losses that could be sustained by lawsuits foreign and domestic … with a damage limit that can be imposed against them ( if this indeed the case) doesn’t this excuse them of any present and future less than stellar handy-work to a construction site now being shared with the entire world

  6. There is an expression that will shadow the expanse of
    time; “Not even a liar likes being lied to”.
    It is most refreshing to find a website like this that is balancing itself on facts/truth. Also, comments from people like so.
    I want all of you to back up and see the biggest picture.
    The Evil Force behind Nuclear Energy has purposely developed these power plants to feed the Nuclear War Program. Its intent is to facilitate all out Nuclear Mayhem in a Final World War along with allowing all Nuclear Power Sites to become as Fukushima to attempt killing all life. What can be more Evil than to build such power plants & feed the arrows of certain destruction toward every part of the Earth?
    The evident reality that it does not police itself for the good in how this so called “Accident” is not being attended to properly, made know, being covered up & minimized “Screams” that this is all a part of a long carefully schemed plan in the eventual extinction of not
    only “Mankind” but even a all life on this “Unique” Jewel of a Planet.

    Where is Evil? If it were in our physical realm, it would be destroyed by Mankind. It is in another realm.

    Bible Prophecy keeps coming true. It describes throughout itself this Final Showdown in which the Spiritual Powers of Good Put Evil Down & Restore Earth.

    At this point whether you research the Bible, believe in a Higher Source or not'; This is what it will take to rid the world of the Evil that is behind the Powers & Liars that be.

    Mankind (United Nations) has failed. Time is up.

    Hope does not come from Government. Everything is made by someone.

    That someone who made all things is where hope & salvation comes from.

    Keeping you all in my prayers.

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