Asahi: High radiation levels at reactors preventing Tepco from even preparing for start of decommissioning work — ‘Many uncertainties could easily derail timetable’

Published: May 28th, 2012 at 8:28 am ET


Rubble hinders decommissioning work at Fukushima No. 4 reactor
AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
May 28, 2012


A crane and other equipment needed to move the fuel rods will be installed [at Unit 4] in autumn 2013 so that technicians can start the retrieval process.

But there are many uncertainties that could easily derail TEPCO’s timetable, experts say.


The plan could be delayed because clearing the structure could take more time than expected because concrete blocks and pieces of steel frame are scattered all around in and out of the No. 4 reactor pool.

Common Pool Full

TEPCO also needs to secure a facility to store fuel rods from the pool, as a common nearby pool has space for only 465 fuel rods remaining.


The No. 1 through No. 3 reactors are being cooled by makeshift cooling systems, resulting in the leakage of a large amount of highly contaminated water at the plant.

High levels of radiation in the drainage are preventing the utility from preparing for the start of decommissioning work.

Quake and Tsunami Risk

TEPCO will also have to proceed with decommissioning amid concerns for possible powerful aftershocks and tsunami.

It said that the reactors will be cooled with emergency cooling pumps even if the existing cooling systems are knocked out in such an event.

If a tsunami strikes the plant when the decommissioning work is under way, the makeshift cooling systems could be destroyed and contaminated water could leak into the sea.

Published: May 28th, 2012 at 8:28 am ET


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10 comments to Asahi: High radiation levels at reactors preventing Tepco from even preparing for start of decommissioning work — ‘Many uncertainties could easily derail timetable’

  • cossack55

    Many uncertainties……such as, will anyone still be alive to initiate timetable.

  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Have we hit bottom yet? Our addiction to nuclear fire may kill everyone on the planet…

    Renewable Energy Usage And Costs Compared To Nuclear And Coal; via A Green Road Blog

  • nedlifromvermont

    Seemed like such a good idea at the time … to the BUSINESS MEN in the room …

    an ounce of uranium … plutonium … whatever … equals a ton of coal … or a hundred tons … or a million tons …. whatever … what's not to like about that ???

    even though the senior scientists in the room said not to (Einstein, Teller, etc.) …

    even though the senior military guy said not to (Rickover, Eisenhower etc.) …

    even though the (almost) senior industry guys said not to (Bridenbaugh and the GE Three)

    even though the Regulators said we probably shouldn't to (AEC on the Mark I in 1976) …

    the really big fat banker man said, "SHUT UP YOU FOOLS AND COWARDS!! We'll just build an old 'unbreachable' containment" … and the rest is history … except that this history doesn't pack up and leave our present and just sort of "fade away," now does it, you nuke head addicts …

    Lot's of room at our Nuclearist's Nooner Tuesdays and Thursdays ………..

    Peace and Out ……….

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Unbelievable how much of a mess one nuclear power plant can make. And danger for the whole world.

  • markww markww

    THE PLANT KEEPS GOING DOWN more each day there is no reversal if you can't get close people. Better just to seal the plant and not look to SAVING YOUR REAR ENDS. It is DYING Lets seal the plant and then years down the road fix it but there is no technology to break the plant down like you want too ITS NOW CALLED LAST DITCH EFFORT AND YOU NEED HELP FROM THE WORLD SO STOP PLAYING MIND GAMES AND WAKE UP OVER IN JAPAN


  • aigeezer aigeezer

    "I don't think the situation is unstable," said Goshi Hosono, Japan's minister in charge of the response to the nuclear crisis.

    Good old Reuters. That spin will be making the rounds, I imagine.

    Buried in the article, it says they'll be giving #4 the circus tent treatment (like #1). I don't recall hearing that before. There won't be much left to watch on the cams once that happens – maybe everyone will just forget about it.

  • nukedincali nukedincali

    Nuclear experimentation is terrorism.

  • JonahW JonahW

    I love this wording. The radiation isn't preventing them from starting the decommissioning, it's preventing them from *preparing* to start. "I have not yet begun to procrastinate!"