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.
The Japan Times, Nov. 14, 2013: One leak came from a rupture in a sand-cushioned drain pipe installed at the bottom of the containment vessel.
Chris Harris, former licensed Senior Reactor Operator and engineer, Nutrimedical Report, Nov. 14, 2013 (at 29:00 in): They did indeed find water pouring out of several locations in Reactor 1′s containment structure and basically this shows that it was ruptured, most likely during the explosion that happened [...] As we discussed before, all the water that gets pumped in to cool what’s left of the core [...] it goes in and it’s falling back out again and goes right into the secondary side, which is basicallly the reactor building [...] Because the water level’s not going up into that part of the building, it’s flowing out into the environment. That’s not really good news.
Everyday its something new and it is never good news. Fukushima is depressing for all kinds f resons but is very important and so I must cover it. Japan is hanging on by the skin of their teeth. They are lucky that nothing new has happened. However, time doesnt stop and the more time they take the closer they get to the next big earthquake. -Mort