Fukushima Unit 1 Pedestal Inspection Proves Massive Damage

A series of recent inspections inside unit 1 has confirmed the extent of the damage to unit 1 and the severity of the 2011 meltdown.

The concrete pedestal base for the reactor vessel is heavily damaged with roughly 5 feet of the pedestal concrete destroyed, including at least 3/4 of the pedestal circumference. All that remains is the metal rebar. This damage includes the entire width of the pedestal wall.

Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 reactor pedestal damage

The evidence found on the inspections shows a massive pile of fuel debris along with visible pieces of reactor components. TEPCO admitted that 90% of the fuel left the reactor vessel during the meltdown. Some of the distinguishable components include portions of fuel rod tubes, control rod components, and reactor instruments. These pieces fell on top of the fuel debris pile indicating some of the reactor components fell after the bulk of the molten fuel had burned through the bottom of the reactor and fallen into the pedestal.


Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 pedestal destroyed fuel rods

Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 pedestal destroyed fuel rods
Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 pedestal destroyed control rods

Additional evidence of the damage to the pedestal was provided. This further clarifies the extent of the damage. The portion noted as undamaged in our diagram at the top of the article is only because TEPCO has not provided imagery for that portion of the pedestal. It may be equally as damaged as the other portions. If so this would indicate that the entire pedestal is failed, leaving only the rebar and a few upper metal attachments for the reactor vessel to the containment wall. The concrete bio-shield that sits on top of the concrete pedestal has no other support system to transfer the load elsewhere.

Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 reactor pedestal damage Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 reactor pedestal damage Fukushima Daiichi unit 1 reactor pedestal damageAdditional analysis is forthcoming on the larger implication of the now-known damage. What is shown in this TEPCO report matches our worst-case scenario for unit 1, established back in 2011.

A translated version of the TEPCO report can be found here:


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One thought on “Fukushima Unit 1 Pedestal Inspection Proves Massive Damage

  • April 2, 2023 at 5:08 pm

    This damage is what we expected from our determinations earlier. This is very problematic. It may make removal of core materials impossible since the structural integrity of reactor support is very weak. It may require that Unit 1 be Entombed In Situ and not decontaminated. It is also potentially a hazard during earthquake activity which cause the reactor to slump downward forceably leading to breech of containment and release of fuel particles to the environment.


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