CNN: Spent fuel rods are “very damaged” — Fires from heat at SFP No. 4 are believed to have damaged reactor building (VIDEO)

Published: December 16th, 2011 at 3:08 pm ET
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Japan marks nuclear reactors milestone, CNN reporter Paula Hancocks, Dec. 16, 2011:

Transcript Excerpts

At 1:20 in

  • Tepco and the government are trying to pacify the Japanese public
  • Still a huge amount of anger and resentment that this was allowed to happen in the first place
  • This is obviously a political statement because they want to pacify the public mood

At 3:00 in

Experts say that the next step for Tepco [...] is that they have to try to remove these spent fuel rods. Now they are very damaged. And of course Tepco doesnt know how damaged they are at this point because workers have not been able to get close enough to give a first hand account of just how bad the damage really is.

Article Excerpts

[...] Officials could start removing spent fuel rods from the facility next year [... Michael Friedlander, a former senior operator at U.S. nuclear power plants] said. [...]

Fires believed caused by heat from the No. 4 spent fuel pool damaged that unit’s reactor building. [...]

Removing spent fuel rods is the next step, but officials need to further survey the area before that happens, [Tokyo Electric Power Co. President Toshio Nishizawa] said.

“We are considering sending a robot into the fuel tanks to really have a good idea (about) the situation. This will be necessary when we take out the fuel,” Nishizawa said. “But I don’t believe what we see will be 180 degrees different from our simulations. But as we say, seeing once is better than hearing 100 times, so we will have a good look at what’s happening inside.” [...]

h/t Rachel

Watch the video here

Published: December 16th, 2011 at 3:08 pm ET
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