Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2013: [...] The locations and the condition of the melted fuel for these reactors remain a mystery. It apparently dropped to the containment vessels through the inner pressure vessels housing the reactor cores. [...] In addition, TEPCO has not determined the extent of damage to the pressure and containment vessels. [...] The road map for decommissioning work could drastically change depending on the conditions of the melted nuclear fuel and the damage to the containment vessels. [...] One obstacle in the decommissioning plan is the continuous leaks of water contaminated with radioactive materials. [...] The division to deal with contaminated water is different from the one to remove nuclear fuel. So we will be able to sufficiently carry out work for the two issues,” said Akira Ono, director of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. However, TEPCO Vice President Zengo Aizawa was not so optimistic. “From the mid- and long-term perspective, I have concerns,” Aizawa said.
RT Live Chat with Dr. Helen Caldicott, Nov. 6, 2013 (at 34:00 in): I’m very much afraid that radioactive water is going to flow into the Pacific at least for the next 50 years, if not longer. […] To the back of the reactors are mountain ranges and the water flows down from the mountains, underneath the reactors. […] There have been 3 meltdowns and we think that these meltdowns — about a hundred tons of radioactive fuel in each units 1, 2, and 3 — may have melted their way into the earth, it’s called a melt though to China Syndrome in nuclear terminology. Even if they haven’t, on the bottom of the containment vessel building which is made of concrete which is all cracked, so the water’s flowing down, huge amounts every day, across and bathing those reactor cores which are furiously radioactive and the water that’s coming out and going into the ocean is incredibly radioactive. […] I can’t tell you how radioactive this water is, and there’s no way to stop it.
Published: November 7th, 2013 at 1:12 pm ET
- Asahi: Location of Fukushima melted fuel unknown — Could be ‘scattered’ in piping, vessels — “We’ve yet to identify all hotspots” around plant February 21, 2013
- Kyodo: Melted fuel from Fukushima Reactor 3 “is the highly lethal mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX)” — Unit to be last to attempt fuel removal says new plan June 27, 2013
- Listen: Serious long term concern as Fukushima’s “bizarre” melted fuel interacts with environment — Release of radionuclides now poses much longer threat compared to initial meltdowns — “We know very little” says lead author (AUDIO & VIDEO) March 21, 2012
- AFP: Fears that Fukushima melted reactor cores have “eaten through” concrete of containment vessels — Tepco plan claims fuel to be removed at same time as 2020 Olympics in Tokyo September 10, 2013
- Japan Times: “Deadly” radiation levels detected outside Fukushima containment vessel — “Details behind situation are unknown” — Officials unable to grasp location of melted nuclear fuel — “Impossible” to plan for decommissioning October 30, 2015