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Japan to declare Fukushima nuclear plant in stable condition

56 Comments
By Mari Yamaguchi

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56 Comments
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the facility still leaks some radiation, remains vulnerable to earthquakes and shows no prospect for cleanup for decades ... “the reactors are broken and we hardly know what it really is like inside the reactors and it’s difficult to predict what may occur.” ... How to remove and dispose of the melted fuel is also an issue. ... No. 1 has mostly melted ...

This must be a definition of "stable" that I haven't encountered yet... Maybe it's like, "stable - will probably not blow up right away" or something like that.

12 ( +15 / -2 )

I am sure there is progress, but the reactors are not just vulnerable to earthquakes, how about another tsunami, typhoons, heavy snow, equipment failure, structural collapse, human error.... These conditions have been achieved with hundreds of tons of groundwater leaking into and most probably out of the buildings. The contamination of ground water poses a very serious longterm problem for the area - are the officials making this declaration stable?

2 ( +8 / -6 )

What a misleading word - stable? Why even consider bringing people back to this area? It will be decades before it is safe. Time to rebuild somewhere else. And, with that said how about evacuating more people from the 80-100km region - especially children.

Label this piece as fluff. Still far too many questions.

7 ( +10 / -2 )

There has to be a way to mix something in the water for cooling that can gel withing the cracks. Something like silly putty or even play dough. I use florescent play dough for fishing and it works great. Unbelievable actually. People have to start thinking out of the box.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

“the reactors are broken and we hardly know what it really is like inside the reactors and it’s difficult to predict what may occur.”

(Fluff) is right. A little false sense of security is supposed to go along way I guess.

2 ( +4 / -1 )

The next words you will hear is that plant can be restarted.

1 ( +4 / -2 )

LIke others, I am sure this is progress but this is crazy. This has been declared as the government promised they would get it under control by the year's end. Seems they would rather lie to the public and international community than admit they haven't been able to meet the deadline they sated they would.

Leaks, vulnerable to earthquakes, contaminated water needing to be put somewhere.... not exactly stable.

1 ( +4 / -2 )

Smoke and mirrors, if they say it often enough people believe it. Then say it's regrettable when it does not conform.

3 ( +5 / -1 )

So it is stably deteriorating?

3 ( +3 / -1 )

There has to be a way to mix something in the water for cooling that can gel withing the cracks. Something like silly putty or even play dough. I use florescent play dough for fishing and it works great. Unbelievable actually. People have to start thinking out of the box

.If I didn't read it, I wouldn't have believed it. Silly putty.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Great! Now politicians and TEPCO execs can underline their faith in their statements by spending new years in holiday homes near the 'stable' plant.

I for one would happily contribute to their accommodation costs.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Quote: the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is virtually stable ...

Hmmm... sounds like virtual reality.

3 ( +3 / -1 )

I feel sorry for those in the areas directly affected, because the sleazebags at Tepco will now use this declaration to not pay money saying along the line "The government said it is safe to go back to your house, we will no longer support your temporary housing costs."

3 ( +3 / -1 )

Just like the rice from fukushima that was declared safe? Whaaaaa?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

MaboDofuIsSpicy Dec. 15, 2011 - 08:14AM JST

There has to be a way to mix something in the water for cooling that can gel withing the cracks. Something like silly putty or even play dough. I use florescent play dough for fishing and it works great. Unbelievable actually. People have to start thinking out of the box.

It's a nice idea, but it would probably also block the cooling pipes - still, if they could find something that would bind with the concrete, and not the pipes it could be a winner.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ah yes, Santa Clause will not only bring us all nice toys, but he will even have Japan all nice and fixed up?? No more Fukushima radiation?? I will not hold my breath on this one!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The entire first paragraph summarizes the contradiction in terms of how the government and TEPCO have been handling this disaster. Place your bets on how long it will be before this declaration is rescinded, just like their declaration of rice being 'safe' was.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Farmboy Dec. 15, 2011 - 07:32AM JST

This must be a definition of "stable" that I haven't encountered yet... Maybe it's like, "stable - will probably not blow up right away" or something like that.

I'd guess from an engineering perspective you could say - stable, we can do a lot more work on fixing it now.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How to remove and what to do with the melted radiation fuel?? SURE! Everything is under control! Thanks TEPCO!! Tokyo Electric for you all out side of Japan, the idiots and the LDP, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan that supported all of these stupid, crazy nuclear reactors on these earthquake and tsunami prone islands.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, we knew they were going to declare this before year end no matter what state the reactors are in. Japan was winning WW2 up until the day they unconditionally surrendered too. Wow! What a mind set.

2 ( +5 / -2 )

which spewed an estimated one-fifth the amount of radiation as the 1986 accident at Chernobyl

Please get it right, they already released that it spewed 40% of Chernobyl.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/nuclear-radiation-from-fukushima-plant-twice-more-than-estimated-report

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stable right, heck people still believe in Santa and the Tooth Fairy!

8 ( +9 / -2 )

But because of the educated guesswork involved, Japanese authorities are using the phrase “cold shutdown conditions,” rather than “cold shutdown.”

So ... still not sure about things? What's new?

But what if they got a part of their educated guesswork wrong? It is still, in fact, guesswork ... so there's no concrete evidence.

If I would walk up to the police station and tell their receptionist: "Hello, I am a certified psychologist and using my educated guesswork, I have been reason to believe one of your cops is a leader of the mafia." Would you think they'll believe me?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It is more akin to putting an "open for business" sign in the shop window.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I believe and trust the government. they are doing the right thing!

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

but the facility still leaks some radiation, remains vulnerable to earthquakes and shows no prospect for cleanup for decades

Not to mention the tons of water that continue to accumulate on a daily baisis and for which there is no apparent solution. Yup, that sure defines stable for me.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

the government is expected to hold a news conference Friday to declare something close to cold shutdown, though experts caution it will be, at best, a tenuous stability.

Um, is this double-Dutch or just public pleasing BS? Doesn't sound like they have anything solid to announce. How about the leaks in the reservoir? Have they stopped them yet?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"but the facility still leaks some radiation, remains vulnerable to earthquakes and shows no prospect for cleanup for decades....“the reactors are broken and we hardly know what it really is like inside the reactors and it’s difficult to predict what may occur.” ... How to remove and dispose of the melted fuel is also an issue. ... No. 1 has mostly melted ..."

Ummm... did they mean 'stable' as in a stable full of manure and other crap? because this sure as heck is not what I would describe as 'stable' (or even the 'virtually stable' that follows the headline).

2 ( +5 / -3 )

tepco you LIEING SOBs!

Clearly no one here is buying this BS, I hope the locals dont fall for their deceiving ways, tepco do you have no shame even at this point in time OMG!

This BS announcement before the year end is beyond the pale!

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Does the Government try to look incompetent on purpose, or does it just come naturally? Let's see, 6 Prime Ministers in 5 years, why should we believe anything they say? One might say there is a credibility problem here.... But for all the people of Japan, I hope the issue is dealt with in a manner that does not compromise the health of the people - any worse than it already is...

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why do they even bother?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I still believe in Santa but TEPCO.....

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Before announcing anything they should ask the fishermen, right !

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The lives of the 100,000 or so evacuated from the exclusion zone are far from stable. They haven't even been officially told they will never be able to return to their former homes, communities, schools, business, places of work. This will give some of them a false hope that one day they can return.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stable, as in locking the stable door after the corium horse has bolted... halfway down to China!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Guys guys guys!!! Let us not forget in Japan,

Years are traditionally viewed as completely separate, with each new year providing a fresh start. Consequently, all duties are supposed to be completed by the end of the year, while bonenkai parties ("year forgetting parties") are held with the purpose of leaving the old year's worries and troubles behind.

shoganai! It HAS to be fixed before the year ends you see?!?

lol

2 ( +2 / -0 )

'Presently stable' might be more accurate and certainly fuller in truth. As the man who ran the 'save the plant' gauntlet himself said before stepping down --due to cancer-- anything can still go wrong. Or words to that effect. Don't be presuming again the future, remember what Edano said, 'There is no release. There will be no release'. Sure.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

To put this statement in terms of a hospitalized patient, when the paitent is admitted in "critical condition" and the doctor comes out of the OR and says that he is "stable" that doesn't mean he's any better, he's still critical; but not getting any worse. His condition could change' either way, at any time.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Have the temperatures been controlled downwards for the last 4 months? YES! Has the likeage of radio active material been controlled downwards for the last 3 months? YES! Is the public anxious to know the progress at the Daiichi plant? OF COURSE YES! Then the government has a duty to inform the populace about this important development, albeit, with caution. The press statemnent should be carefully worded to avoid unneccessarily raising expectations they cannot meet as of now. Definitely the Fukushima incident is a very huge challenge and it is quite scaring to say they do not know for sure the exact condition in the reactor. Dont forget to include in the press statement issues related to the likeage of radioactive material in the terrestrial and aquatic food chain, which is now the major concern worldwide. And please, please, please halt your proposals to tell people to go back near Fukushima to start farming. That would be careless! WHO SHOULD DELIVER THE SPEECH? I have noted TEPCO officials shouting loudest on the achivement, but the situation is such that they should be observers at the press conference and only to respond/react if asked. For authenticity and trust, it is better the messages are delivered by an independent regulatory body as TEPCO is yet to get confidence from the people.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Misleadingheadlinee! While the reactors 'may' be stable the plant itself is far from stable.There are still leaks in the reservoir and they still have no idea what to do with the thousands of tons of contaminated water. Not stable at all! Just a Christmas wish for the people!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is waaaay too much hedging and way too many weasel words for me to feel better, such as, "the facility still leaks some radiation", "a hoped-for “cold shutdown", "to declare something close to cold shutdown", and "the company believes they have reached a stable state", among others. Include the entire headline as misleading, too. Who is "Japan"???

Personally, I do not care a Christmas Fig Pudding about arbitrary headlines. I'd like to see reality, and affected people need a read home somewhere else, and a whole lot of real money paid by TEPCO executives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

make that....arbitrary DEADLINES. Apologies.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well, the reactor cores might be stable ("cold shutdown conditions") but does that tell anything about water leaks, radioactive debris etc.?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Japan to declare Fukushima nuclear plant in stable condition"

It's like "Ukraine to declare Chernobyl nuclear plant is ready to work again, Pripyat is clean habitable city for most people". That's weirdness at its most.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As far as I can tell, the corium is stably melting its way downward out of the containment. There are no machines that can go close to the corium to see what's going on, without being shut down by the radiation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I would be more worried if they had flatly declared the reactor to be in cold shutdown (and you know they're chomping at the bit to do so). At least they're acknowledging that they don't have enough data coming in to do that.

"Stable" and "cold shutdown" are synonymous. I'm not sure they can use the word "stable" until they know for sure what's going on at the corium.

For those who apparently aren't clear on the concept, a reactor STILL emits radiation when in "cold shutdown" status. As long as radioactive fuel is present, the reactor is emitting radiation. It just isn't emitting enough radiation to boil water at atmospheric pressure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The lives of the 100,000 or so evacuated from the exclusion zone are far from stable. They haven't even been officially told they will never be able to return to their former homes, communities, schools, business, places of work. This will give some of them a false hope that one day they can return.

I think people who lived in the exclusion zones are well aware of the fact that decontamination work needs to be in place before they can move back in.

We can nitpitck till cows come home but the fact is cooling function has been operational to a point where the fuel rods (that are melted or not melted) temperature is down to a point where there exists little chance of further explosion or melt through.

Considering the situation back in March where there was no power, no light, no cooling method in place other than spraying sea water, the progress has been pretty remarkable, IMO.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

the progress has been pretty remarkable, IMO

nigelboy -- as is often the case, I'll choose to disagree with your rosy assesment. IMO, taking nine months to have finally figured out that the cores did in fact meltdown/through, and are still potentially continuing to do so, while operating a cooling system that is creating tons of radioactive water on a daily basis that they want to dump in the ocean, because they have no place to put it, is hardly "remarkable". Agreed, the courage and fortitude of the workers who have gotten it to even this stage is remarkable, but simply getting the cores cooled down hardly is. Important, absolutely. Remarkable, hardly.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Stable" and "cold shutdown" are synonymous. I'm not sure they can use the word "stable" until they know for sure what's going on at the corium.

Stable is a matter of definition. Basically we are even far from being able to declare Chernobyl stable with the sarcophagus being in danger of collapsing and releasing huge amounts activity in the air again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

IMO, taking nine months to have finally figured out that the cores did in fact meltdown/through, and are still potentially continuing to do so, while operating a cooling system that is creating tons of radioactive water on a daily basis that they want to dump in the ocean, because they have no place to put it, is hardly "remarkable".

There is difference between meldown and melt through. And no. The officials stated a "meltdown" a couple days after the incident. And did you ever find your evidence that "Weeks after the outside world was saying there had been at least a 70% meltdown in three reactors"?? Unless you can provide this evidence, there is no point in arguing whether or not TEPCO's recent estimation of % meltdown was timely or not.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I stand corrected. NISA reported a meldown just a day after.

http://www.sannichi.co.jp/local/photo/201103/20110312_16.pdf

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Stable is a matter of definition. Basically we are even far from being able to declare Chernobyl stable with the sarcophagus being in danger of collapsing and releasing huge amounts activity in the air again.

I treat stable as meaning if there is another power outage and cooling is halted, does the reactor heat up again to the point the water boils away, or does it just simmer? A simmering reactor with no outside inputs is a stable reactor. A boiling reactor is NOT stable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

WHAT !!!! Is this news report by JT reliable? Other news I read from outside Japan says different.

"In addition, we received word today that the southern wall of Fukushima reactor unit #4 has collapsed, leading to speculation that the structural integrity of the containment building may be failing, with the possibility of an imminent collapse of the rest of the building. This has not yet been confirmed by multiple sources, but photos have emerged (see link above). Here's our original precautionary alert on this issue, just to be on the safe side:" http://www.naturalnews.com/034387_Fukushima_nuclear_reactor_collapse.html

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Ex-SKF's blog counters the "collapse of #4" and says it is simply in the process of workers dismantling it. The photos have been misinterpreted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The problem with this is that of there is another leak it will be covered up because the Government can not lose face

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This disaster can happened to any countries with Nuke Power Plants. Japan, losing ones face is not the damn issue here. The effects to people and environment is. I know Japan medias love to gather news about other countries problems but hide their own from the world. It's about time to tell the world what Japan is facing right now about this nuke meltdown.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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