Kyodo, Mar 27, 2015 (emphasis added): [Tepco] disclosed that a 35-ton piece of machinery debris might be resting on the inner gate of the spent fuel pool for reactor 3… and that the gate is slightly out of position. Tepco said Thursday that a fuel-handling machine… is touching one of two gates that stand . . . → Read More: TV: Dam gates ‘shifted’ in Fukushima Unit 3 fuel pool — Damaged by massive piece of falling debris — Concern it could trigger drainage from pool — Tepco: It does not ‘appear’ to be leaking
Arnie Gundersen, nuclear expert and chief engineer at Fairewinds, Jan 29, 2015 (emphasis added): Recent scientific studies from Japan show that 75% of the radiation created by the meltdowns was released more than 5 days after the catastrophe… This data… shows that the total gaseous and liquid radioactive releases from the Fukushima Daiichi meltdown . . . → Read More: Gundersen: New data shows Fukushima exceeds Chernobyl… Plumes seen emanating from both the Unit 3 fuel pool & reactor — Nuke Engineer: Broken fuel rods are above all 3 melted down reactors — Gov’t Experts: Unit 3 explosion may have damaged spent fuel & released even more radioactive material (VIDEO)
‘The Age of Radiance: The Epic Rise and Dramatic Fall of the Atomic Era’ (2014) Craig Nelson, Simon&Schuster (emphasis added): Explosion tore through [Fukushima] Daiichi at 3:40 pm on the 14th, destroying Unit 3′s outer building… raising into the air a pink cloud. Some onlookers became terrified when winds pushed it into what to . . . → Read More: Mushroom-shaped “pink cloud” seen at Fukushima after Reactor 3 exploded — Film: Nuclear bomb explosions caused “pink clouds of radiation”; “Clouds were pink from fallout… They told everyone there’s nothing to worry about” (VIDEO & PHOTOS)
Kyodo News (Part 11), Sept. 28, 2014 (emphasis added): Fearing a massive discharge of radiation on March 15, 2011, Fukushima No. 1 plant chief Masao Yoshida told [the Tepco] head office in Tokyo that he had to consider evacuating the majority of on-site employees. This followed a report at 6:14 am earlier in the . . . → Read More: Fukushima chief was pleading for help from U.S. military: “Fire’s broken out at Reactor 4… We can’t do anything… please” — Leader turned pale after seeing flames and black smoke near fuel pool — Worker tries to have last meal before dying and realizes he’s unable to taste food
AFP, Aug 29, 2014: [TEPCO] said it had not detected any significant changes in radiation readings or in the level of pool water at the No. 3 reactor… Friday’s incident occurred shortly after noon during a remotely controlled operation to remove debris from the fuel pool at the unit where the broken reactor still . . . → Read More: Accident in Reactor 3 fuel pool at Fukushima — Large piece of wreckage falls nearby spent uranium rods — M5 quake hits plant soon after — Official: “Unable to say” whether any are damaged (PHOTOS & VIDEO)
Fukushima Daiichi Accident 3 years after, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Ramzi Jammal, Executive Vice-President and Chief Regulatory Operations Officer of the Regulatory Operations Branch, Physics Colloquium at Queen’s University, March 14, 2014:
Smoke from SFP at Unit 3? Quote from [The National Diet of Japan's report 'Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission'] What was . . . → Read More: Gov’t Report: Criticality suspected to have occurred in Fukushima fuel pool — Nuclear chain reaction after massive explosion at Unit 3 compressed fuel together? Concerned about ‘substantial damage’ to fuel (VIDEO)
NHK, Mar. 26, 2014: Work has been suspended to remove spent nuclear fuel from a storage pool [...] [TEPCO] said an accident occurred at around 9:30 AM on Wednesday when workers started removing fuel units at the No. 4 reactor building [...] a large crane used to hoist a cask containing 22 spent fuel . . . → Read More: NHK: Alarm goes off after accident at Fukushima Unit 4 fuel pool — Work suspended after crane trouble — “Workers have been monitoring radiation levels” (VIDEO)
Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 13, 2014 at 6:11a JST: Blast ruined the inside of containment vessel at Fukushima plant [...] Reporters from The Yomiuri Shimbun visited the crippled plant Wednesday [...] On the top floor of the plant’s No. 4 reactor building, a crane was moving to remove spent nuclear fuel [...] On the lower . . . → Read More: Reporters reveal “blast ruined inside of containment vessel” at Fukushima Unit 4 — Walls ‘destroyed’ — Explosion was ‘believed’ to have been outside reactor (PHOTO)
IRSN (France) (pdf): Water temperature in the [spent fuel pools] increased, sometimes to the boiling point. […] The most notable point is without a doubt the impact of hydrogen explosion on the SFPs. Overall, it appears that the pools resisted the hydrogen explosions but a significant loss of leaktightness in the pools and dewatering . . . → Read More: Gov’t: Radiation levels too high in Unit 4; Coming from small pieces of Cobalt-60? Workers forced to cover floor with lead — Experts: ‘Significant loss of leaktightness’ possible in Fukushima fuel pools
Jiji Press, Nov. 28, 2013: [Tepco] plans to begin work next month at the earliest to remove large chunks of rubble from a spent fuel pool in the No. 3 reactor building, according to officials.
Nuclear Energy Agency, April 2013: Interim and long term roadmap until decommissioning for unit 1 to unit 4 of . . . → Read More: Tepco Adviser: Fuel is damaged in two Fukushima pools — 150 billion Bq/m³ of Cesium-137 at Unit 3, possible second explosion after 3/11 — “Certainly appears something of significance occurred”
Arirang’s ‘In Depth’, Nov. 23, 2013: […] there is mounting concern about radiation leakage caused by the Fukushima nuclear plant destruction. There is reemerged concern as Japan dismantles its nuclear plant.
Professor Suh Kune-yull, Nuclear Engineering at Seoul National University: Q: What’s the situation like in Fukushima? A: Your guess is as good as . . . → Read More: Nuclear Professors: Every engineer is really scared about fuel removal at Unit 4 — I advised gov’t to be ready to use explosives to collapse pool after 3/11 (VIDEOS)
Kyodo News, Nov. 23, 2013: Work to remove used fuel at Fukushima No. 4 spent fuel pool eyed Tues. [...] Work to remove spent fuel from a storage pool inside a damaged reactor building at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex will begin on Tuesday at the earliest, a source close to the operator of . . . → Read More: Source: First try to remove spent fuel from Unit 4 could be next week — Nuclear Engineer: Everyone’s nervous about pulling out used rods that are corroding; Will zircoloy tubes break and spill fuel pellets, leading to a criticality? (AUDIO)
Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen, Nov. 19, 2013 (at 7:00 in): Modern fuel racks have boron surrounding the nuclear fuel, and the boron at Fukushima Daiich likely leached out over the last 2 years […] If the fuel gets too close to each other it can cause a chain reaction in the fuel pool.
. . . → Read More: Nuclear Engineer: New cover on Unit 4 can trap hydrogen gas during criticality in fuel pool — Blast would be close to a nuclear explosion, from a practical standpoint (AUDIO)
Japan Times, Nov. 14, 2013: Earlier this week, Tepco found three damaged assemblies that will be difficult to remove, but officials said the damage appeared to have occurred before the March 11 disasters.
Reuters, Nov. 14, 2013: One of the assemblies was damaged as far back as 1982, when it was mishandled during a . . . → Read More: Damaged fuel rods are cracked and leaking radioactive gases in Fukushima Unit 4 pool; Wire appears trapped in racks — Another assembly bent when “mishandled during a transfer”
Yomiuri Shimbun translated by EXSKF, Nov. 12, 2013: On November 12, TEPCO disclosed that there were three fuel assemblies [...] in the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4 [...] that were deformed and would be difficult to remove.
Fukushima Unit 4 Spent Fuel Pool on Nov. 7, 2013 (Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg)
Fukushima Minyu translated . . . → Read More: Multiple assemblies ‘deformed’ in Fukushima Unit 4 pool — One “bent at a 90-degree angle” — Tepco: Mistake occurred when handling the fuel… 25 years ago
Reuters, Nov. 12, 2013: The urgency to clear Reactor No. 4 of the fuel assemblies is because of the risk in having spent fuel stored at such a height – some 18 meters above ground level – in a building that has buckled and tilted and could collapse if another quake strikes. Also, if . . . → Read More: Reuters: Fukushima Unit 4 is “buckled and tilted and could collapse” — Bloomberg: “Engineers have been examining stability” of building, checking for “new vulnerabilities”
New York Times, Nov. 10, 2013:
[...] In the next 10 days [Tepco] is set to start the delicate and risky task of using a crane to remove the fuel assemblies from the pool, a critical step in a long decommissioning process that has already had serious setbacks. Just 36 men will . . . → Read More: Japan Expert: “All I can do is pray nothing goes wrong” at Fukushima Unit 4; Concern over “dangerous chain of events” — TV: “At least evacuate nearby residents” — NYTimes: No external supervision of Tepco; To start within 10 days (VIDEO)
Hiromitsu Ino, professor emeritus of nuclear engineering at the University of Tokyo: The removal of the fuel assemblies is “the right thing to do, because keeping the fuel up there is quite risky,” [he] says. Among the risks he and other experts cite is the possibility that a container being used to move the . . . → Read More: Japan Experts: “Very worried” about accident at Fukushima Unit 4; Concern fuel to be dropped, could break apart and overheat — Tepco Adviser: It’s only as hot as a ‘few toasters’
Asahi Shimbun, Nov. 7, 2013: [...] Concrete walls were still missing from the third and fourth floors of the No. 4 reactor building, raising questions among onlookers if the structure could withstand a huge earthquake. On the sea side of the building, a piping system and metal rods were exposed behind collapsed walls of . . . → Read More: Top Nuclear Official: “Very large risk potential” when attempting fuel removal at Fukushima Unit 4 pool — CNN: Debris in rods may damage Tepco’s efforts (VIDEO)
Telegraph, Nov. 6, 2013: “Did you ever play pick up sticks?” asked a foreign nuclear expert who has been monitoring Tepco’s efforts to regain control of the plant. “You had 50 sticks, you heaved them into the air and than had to take one off the pile at a time. “If the pile collapsed . . . → Read More: Nuclear Expert: Fuel rods are “in a jumble” at Fukushima Unit 4 pool; Unclear if they are cracked — US pressing Japan on removal, fears terrorist activity at plant (VIDEO)
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 . . . → Read More: 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)
The Japan Times, Nov 4, 2013: Tepco to conduct fuel removal test at reactor 4 [...] Tokyo Electric Power Co. will conduct a fuel removal test at the No. 4 reactor building of the stricken Fukushima No. 1 power plant, delaying the start of the actual operation by up to two weeks, sources close . . . → Read More: Postponed: Fuel removal attempt at Fukushima Unit 4 delayed, possibly for weeks — Gov’t safety agency wants tests conducted, as another ~M5 quake hits Eastern Japan