BBC: ‘Extraordinary danger’ in removing fuel from Fukushima Unit 4 — Fear that rods are damaged — Officials: “We’re not sure if they’re damaged – you never know”; Concern over “release of radiation” (VIDEO)

Published: November 6th, 2013 at 5:40 pm ET


BBC News, Nov. 6, 2013: A task of extraordinary delicacy and danger is about to begin at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power station. […] The fuel rods are currently in a precarious state in a storage pool in Unit 4. […] One senior official told me: “It’s going to be very difficult but it has to happen.” […] the fear is that some [rods] may have been damaged during the disaster. […] Two critically important issues are whether the rods themselves are damaged and therefore likely to leak and whether the casks remain watertight to ensure the rods have no contact with the air. The METI official acknowledged the risks including a possible “release of radiation” from the fuel or if the casks holding the fuel are dropped. He said that “countermeasures” have been prepared – including back-up wires to hold the loads and mechanisms to hold the fuel in the event of a power failure. […] The Tepco document says the rods will be checked for signs of damage – large amounts of debris fell into the pool during the disaster so the risks are real. […] One senior figure in Japan’s nuclear watchdog told me: “Inspections by camera show that the rods look OK but we’re not sure if they’re damaged – you never know.” […]

NHK WORLD, Nov. 6, 2013: Explosion weakened the building’s structure […] They planned to lift the rods out with a crane, but the building was too weak to support it […] The job is far from straightforward, the workers have to maneuver the rods underwater to prevent any radiation from escaping […]

Watch NHK’s ‘Nuclear Watch’ here


Published: November 6th, 2013 at 5:40 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Japan TV: We have discovered a new hidden danger at Reactor 4 — There’s another way fuel rods can be damaged (VIDEO) May 29, 2012
  2. Japan Diplomat: Concern fuel rods in Unit 4 pool are damaged — “Have they moved”? — Transfer process could go on for decades, not months October 22, 2013
  3. Tepco finds bent, damaged spent fuel assemblies in multiple fuel pools at Japan nuclear plant — Concern about prompt moderated criticality December 23, 2012
  4. Vice: ‘Suspicious’ death at Fukushima plant — Officials: Damaged nuclear fuel containers found in Unit 3 pool after removal of massive piece of debris — “High radioactivity prevented workers from carrying out the removal smoothly” — Concern about “new fuel failure” (PHOTOS & VIDEO) August 5, 2015
  5. Warning from Japan’s Top Nuclear Official: I am “much more worried” about fuel in Fukushima Unit 4 — Rods may break open and release highly radioactive material — Beware risks from debris, a disaster if damaged — Removal may start Nov. 8 October 30, 2013

49 comments to BBC: ‘Extraordinary danger’ in removing fuel from Fukushima Unit 4 — Fear that rods are damaged — Officials: “We’re not sure if they’re damaged – you never know”; Concern over “release of radiation” (VIDEO)

  • Canuck1

    Unfortunately we have no choice but to hope for the best and they get them all out without a hitch. Wishful thinking…

    • We Not They Finally

      TEPCO in no way should be trusted to do anything without assistance. Since 2011 they have shown vast incompetence and dishonesty.Now the future of our Planet is in doubt.If they accidently destroy all life on this planet then what? I know that the elite will either go off planet or deep into the underground cities that have been funded each year for many years..Since they are total rogues it would be fitting if our future is to become a rogue planet.After all Satanists want to be the last ones standing.

  • Sol Man

    We do know, only once it is too late. I'll go with your wishful thinking for now…

  • Canuck1

    The other problem is we will NEVER know if they dropped, broke or crushed a rod until its TOO LATE…Gov't or media would NEVER tell us..6 days until the plume arrives in the west coast and the rest of the world soon after. Absolutely FRIGHTENING.

    • bsgcic bsgcic

      We would know very soon. That is 14,000 times the Hiroshima bomb of radiation. If a major criticality erupts in the spent fuel pool, large numbers of innocent Japanese citizens would probably start to die. I a mean that is not one Hiroshima bomb equivalent; not 10; not 1,000; but, 14,000 times. I think it would be in Enenews very quickly.

  • wemadethis wemadethis

    I'm sure many readers here have seen this before, but this video does a good job of showing the dangers Unit 4 faces (and probably partially suffered already).

    If a fuel assembley drops during emptying and explodes, won't it blow out the side of the pool and drain it?

    • Dr. Anne Lee Tomlinson Maziar anne

      As horrible as this video is, it still minimizes the results of the melt throughs. Fails to mention that radiation plumes circle the earth every 40 days. Fails to say what happens when plutonium is breathed in and bioaccumulates and is then internally injested, etc., etc.

  • wemadethis wemadethis

    I must say that the building looks to be in much better condition than I assumed though.

  • tooktheredpill tooktheredpill

    I love the way they are still lieing even in this video.

    That may well be the real inside above SFP4 (the internal geometry of the steel structure matches the outside images of the steel assembly they've built and is totally different to any other GE building inside so I am agreeing that the footage really is inside the cover they've built)

    but every time the video cut's to the actual fuel pool…..

    THAT IS NOT SFP4!!!!

    That is previous video of a normal pool from any one of hundreds of video's of an undamaged pool.

    The water is crystal blue…(not full of the cruddy seawater we've seen in previous images) and all the rod's are perfect and undamaged (totally opposite to previous video's with debris all over)

    This is pure theatrics!

    • tooktheredpill tooktheredpill

      I take it all back……


      These are the official photo's from TEPCO on their site of the crane installation above unit 4 just 6 weeks ago…

      (look at all the 'official pics' there.

      Now go ahead and pause this NHK BS vid when u see the crane and the workers….

      The design of the crane in the vid is TOTALLY different to their supposedly official pics on their site.

      Just check the NHK first frame…..

      with the supposedly official Images from TEPCO

      Smoke and Mirrors!!!!!

      • Oncewaslost Oncewaslost

        Good catch.

        Its been like that since day one.

        The often show workers hanging around the SFP4 like its a poolside bbq party.,.

        I even saw some where they had nothing on their heads but hard hats and the paper white suits.

        lol… its great propaganda thought right?

        I mean you see that image where people can hang around the pool, with no protection, you wonder how can we on the west coast or even those out side of Fukushima prefecture, have anything to worry about.

        Meanwhile they cant tell us the status of the fuel in the pool because you cant get that close.

        ITs all just a gong show… the reason they are working on 4 is because it was the only exploded building that had no operating reactor in it ,and is likely the safest building to be in and around as a result.

        But that pool, despite the explanation that that building blew because stuff from next door came over, lol, probably blew because that pool dried and that fuel is therefor forked.

        • tooktheredpill tooktheredpill

          Agree totally.

          I still say this…..

          Put a HD streaming webcam up in the corner of your new wonder cover so WE can see what you're doing minute by minute.

          Everyone on here has spent 2.5 years arguing over 'was that a flash' or ' did u see that light' on their crappy 640×480 webcam (would love to do the calculation on how many 'man hours' have been wasted by all enenewsers watching/talking about the cam when they won't let us really see anything…..

          Tepco U have real cam's all over the site giving you glorious HD footage in real time of all the dangerous areas. Share the wealth!!! Let us see what you're watching (I've seen your control room images in the background!!)

          I'm just gobsmacked that the greedy money grabbing b&%ta$*d's haven't snapped up on the opportunity of streaming the 'Fuel Removal' LIVE (X factor style) with the intent of getting us to vote on which bundle they remove next!!!

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        Completely fake..

        АЭС Фукусима: Бассейн для ОЯТ реактора № 4, 10.02.2012

      • own_quality

        I think the camera may be shooting from on top of the crane looking the opposite direction as in the still photos. It might be the same place in both.

        • tooktheredpill tooktheredpill

          then WHERE have all the Hitachi logo's and numbers disappeared to ???????

          • own_quality

            I'm saying that the unit in the background of the video is not seen at all in the still photos. It is a third unit at the other end of the building.

    • We Not They Finally

      tooktheredpill, this is a huge "No kidding!" What no one even seemed to notice is that the videocams of the BP disaster were switched out during Hurricane Bonnie in the summer of 2010. There were Macondo Wells 252-A and 252-B, at somewhat different longitudes and latitudes, as were marked on the corner of each respective videocam, if anyone bothered to check. Well A had already been capped the year before. Well B was probably NEVER capped and is still gushing as we speak.

      No one believes that anything that looks shiny new and all lined up neatly row by row, is what the inside of SPF4 currently looks like. And who can go in there and check?

      • own_quality

        Everything in those photos is brand new. That's an interior shot of the new structure built around and on top of the wrecked building, which was stripped down to the top of the SFP.

  • I picture removing the assemblies will be similar to this: 1)Fill a coffee can with glowing green marbles to represent fuel pellets. 2) Quickly turn can upside down. 3) Put a vaccuum hose on the bottom (now top) of can. 4) Lift can slowly off ground. 5)Watch marbles spill in every direction.

    The fuel rods were compromised by the fires and lack of cooling water. The extent is unknown, but anything that might have 'melted' would have fell to the bottom. Tepco has never (to my knowledge) shown the BOTTOM of these racks. If there is any damge in that pool, that's where (I think) it would have been concentrated. This is going to be the problem. There better be a boron slurry in that pool and a molten lead/concrete/boron/sand mixer nearby before they even TRY to pull anything out of it.

  • Grampybone Grampybone

    200MsV means the workers are going to become poisoned and will be in desperation while removing this depleted fuel.

    • jec jec

      Supposedly they have 'specially trained teams' of six people..highly trained. Bet they run out of them quickly…..sadly, very quickly. One whoops..and all the teams are toast. Literally.

    • nedlifromvermont

      Why grampybone … the SL-1 meltdown video said the highest exposure to any rescue worker (to retrieve their dead comrade who was finally found impaled on rebar on the inside of the steel containment building and who had to be pried loose to fall onto a net, by teams running in and climbing a ladder and spending no more than thirty seconds on task) was only 27 Roentgens, which translates to 270 mSv … and nobody even had to check into the hospital!!! So 200 mSv is not gonna hurt nobody, right?? I mean, the 1963 A.E.C. propaganda video told me so.

      Like the nuke puke said to me in an unsolicited email, "Why is everyone so afraid of a little radiation … there's lots of nasty stuff aerosolized to go around" … Leave it to the nukey pukers to be absolutely shameless as in "Nobody has died from Fukushima" and only three died at Chernobyl ….. as in Lies, Damned lies and statistics, too!

      peace …

  • Shaker1

    Admittedly knowing little about cams in radiation environments, I've mentioned before that it strikes me as ludicrous that there isn't some imaging of what is inside that pool, even if the method sacrifices the equipment. I don't believe that they would blindly begin such an endeavor. (Maybe I'm giving too much credit for intelligence to those involved? We are dealing with some, in the beginning, worried more about road permits when large cranes were offered early on…) There are many ways of imaging, too. This is a question that also pertains to the location of the corium debris, is it not? Is so little resource made available that creativity is stumped even at this stage of this the situation?

    It's my sense that they have pretty positive evidence of where they would begin this operation, and that the plan would obviously require constant reconsideration and update with knowledge gained at each step.

    Personally, I believe much more is known than is shared at really high levels. It's sure we'll never know to what extent that secrecy goes even when it's over. But a strategy used for TMI (let it sit there for years until it's somewhat safe, which is what I personally believe was and is a part of the strategy considered, actually counting on dilution to the environment) is not working well. I just can't believe there isn't more public anguish and anxiety.

  • hummina shadeeba

    Who can give an expert opinion on the dangers of moving the rods? If it were so dangerous why wouldn't they add support to the building and hold on for some years until it cools? I read that if they touch they could…what? Because I'm reading other places that they should be pretty stable.
    It's hard to know who to believe and no one I run into knows anything. I'm driving my family crazy telling them possible horror stories.
    If any of you can give me a call that would be best for me. Might be good for all of us to talk on the phone.

    Regardless I have those questions above. I'm trying to do the responsible thing and finding I don't have the facts to work with. I'm on the verge of running to South America somewhere.

    I'm west coast and my phone is likely going to run out of juice in a minute but I'll grab it anytime I can.