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AP: Video shows plant officials ‘freaked out’ — “At least 5 of the 7 pools at the plant were in trouble” — Fukushima Chief: “The pool at No. 1 unit is now exposed… I’m out of ideas”

Published: August 9th, 2012 at 10:35 am ET
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Title: Ex-PM Slams Utility Over Japan Nuke Crisis Video
Source: AP
Author: MARI YAMAGUCHI
Date: August 8, 2012

[...]

The video also revealed that plant officials freaked out about the pools that contained spent nuclear fuel, beyond the one known to be a concern. They feared the pools could dry out without a cooling system or water supply, which would heat and melt the nuclear material. Massive radiation leaks directly into the air could have resulted because the pools are not protected by containment chambers. TEPCO officials even discussed dropping chunks of ice or spray water through a broken ceiling from a helicopter to cool them urgently.

Previously, government and TEPCO officials had only spoken of a pool at the Unit 4 reactor as being a concern because it was damaged by a hydrogen gas explosion in the reactor building.

Then-Plant chief Masao Yoshida and other top executives thought at least five of the seven pools at the plant were in trouble, although they later said none of the rods was exposed.

 ”We have a problem,” Yoshida told TEPCO’s Tokyo office. “The pool at No. 1 unit is now exposed, with part of its building blown off in an explosion, and steam is reportedly coming out. We can’t leave it like that, but we have no water source and I’m out of ideas.” The temperature of that pool was also rising, and he and other officials agreed that other pools were probably in similar conditions.

Days later, a defense helicopters splashed water from a bucket as it flew over one of the reactors and firefighters were mobilized to spray water from fire hose.

[...]

Published: August 9th, 2012 at 10:35 am ET
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18 comments to AP: Video shows plant officials ‘freaked out’ — “At least 5 of the 7 pools at the plant were in trouble” — Fukushima Chief: “The pool at No. 1 unit is now exposed… I’m out of ideas”