David Curtis

David Curtis

SF Bay area, CA


Fukushima (Rev 7/6/17)

A proposal for mediation in the event of subsequent seismic events at Fukushima.

This concept focuses on potential seismic design improvements via rolling transfer beams and containment of cooling water should there be sub-grade leaks.

It provides for redundant backup generators, one on an attached tower truss, the other in a perimeter berm.

The scanned Japanese text has not been verified by author. This document is for sequencing proposal only. It has been forwarded to PM Japan and ARUP SF for global peer review.

UPDATES: 7/6/2017

Emails to Berkeley RE Fukushima (portions redacted, sequence altered)

It occurs to me that any subsurface membranes to contain the fuel/water would need to be self healingThat was my intent in the diagrams I posted in 2012 in the public domain. DC

To: (redacted)
Subject: Fukushima aftermath
Date: Jun 25, 2017 9:54 PM

(redacted), I don't know if you have been following the attempts at Fukushima to contain the ground water, it occurs to me they could set off an atomic bomb on site and perhaps fuse the area where the cores melted down. Do you think that could help the situation or is it too risky and might cause too many other problems? Sorry to bother you but I have trouble sleeping at times over the situation and its effect on the Pacific region. I would appreciate any thoughts you might have regarding the situation. David Curtis

"Dear David, For your peace of mind, I think it is important to get into contact with reliable information about Fukushima.  I'm copying (redacted), (name redacted) who has been monitoring the situation since the beginning, and visits Fukushima regularly; (redacted) can both tell you (redacted), as well as point out sites where you can find reliable expert data.  For your information, the area has been largely remediated and people are already moving back into their homes, even very close to the Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Complex. (redacted), so it may take a day for (redacted) to see this email and get back to you.

Sincere regards, (redacted)"

To: (redacted)

Cc: (redacted)

Subject: Re: Fukushima aftermath

Date: Jun 28, 2017 7:53 AM

Hello (redacted), thank you and (redacted) for your responses. I just noticed the story of the accidental exposures to (uranium) in Nevada.

My concern remains that the three cores did in fact melt down and remain down and nuisance water reaching that fuel is still migrating through subgrade fissures into the pacific.

My question is not if a fission based explosion was possible, my question is if one now intentionally inserted a fission based explosion (or perhaps laser) at the fuel would that perhaps fix the area so that radioactive material would not transfer to the ocean? Or would that just make things worse?

What portion if any of the fuel from the three former cores has been recaptured? I assume zero.

I'm less interested in the residents moving back than I am with the fuel migrating through whatever containment they have rigged up.


To: David Curtis

Cc: (redacted)

Subject: Re: Fukushima aftermath

Dear David, Thanks for your inquiry with us. We appreciate that you reach out to us.

We have been involved in measurements in Berkeley since the accident in Japan in March 2011. I have been in Fukushima 15 times now, performing measurements in evacuated areas and soon on the nuclear power plant site. Through our Institute for Resilient Communities, we have also reached out to communities in the Fukushima Prefecture to listen and understand their concerns and share our perspectives. 

Regarding your concerns about the remaining risks due to leaking water or the fuel debris. Health risks or the risk for re-igniting fission to produce more radioactivity is extremely unlikely. A nuclear or fission-based explosion type event has been impossible from the start (nuclear reactors are not able to produce a nuclear explosion as in an atomic bomb). 

There have been enormous efforts to maintain the water leakage and to ensure that no more fission is happening. It is indeed very impressive how the water is stored and cleaned. Several walls (out of concrete and ice) have been implemented to reduce the influx of ground water into the plant and leakage of cooling water out of the plant and into the environment including the Pacific Ocean. While there is no 100% protection and prevention of leakage, the leakage is relatively small, if detectable at all. Given the enormous challenges dealing with three reactors, there certainly were problems in containing the radioactive water initially, but by now the walls are in place and most of the stored water has been cleaned from the radioactive fission fragments such as Cs-137 and Cs-134. 

As Prof. (redacted) indicated, most of the residents are allowed to move back. However, it is 6 years later now and quite a few reasons exists particularly for young families not to move back. One reason is simply that many families have moved on. It is a very complex topic and the reason for us to continue our activities there with our measurements and involvement with residents and communities. 

I hope this addresses some of your concerns.


Read more

Status: Unbuilt
Location: Fukushima, JP
My Role: conceptual designer, principal
Additional Credits: Arup was approached for peer review. UC Berkeley was approached for peer review.

crane placement diagram
crane placement diagram
site plan and sections
site plan and sections
enlarged partial site plan
enlarged partial site plan
site reference
site reference