Gundersen: Cover at Fukushima Unit 3 looks like a mall superstore — Reactor building so severely damaged it can’t support structure (AUDIO)

Published: November 19th, 2012 at 8:36 am ET
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Follow-up to: Tepco to construct bulbous cover over Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 (PHOTO)

Fairewinds Podcast, Nov. 18, 2012:

At 5:00 in

Nuclear Expert Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Energy Education: Unit 3 is entirely different than Unit 4 [...] they built something that looks like a superstore in a mall, it could easily look like a retail outlet [...]

It’s not connected at all to the reactor building or the containment building [...]

The real problem is Unit 3 is so severely damaged that it can’t handle the weight of the 100 ton canister, there’s no place in Unit 3 that would be strong enough to brace that heavy crane [...] I think Tepco is going to say that the reactor building on Unit 3 has been so damaged that we can’t find a place to brace the heavy duty cranes, and therefore we have to span the whole structure [...] Now it’s absolutely obvious that Unit 3 has been so damaged by the explosion that it can’t handle the weight of the larger cask. Now, they’re not telling people that, but clearly that’s what the drawings show.

Host Kevin Hurley: Is this going to slow down the removal of fuel?

Gundersen: Absolutely.

Listen to the broadcast here

Published: November 19th, 2012 at 8:36 am ET
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3 comments to Gundersen: Cover at Fukushima Unit 3 looks like a mall superstore — Reactor building so severely damaged it can’t support structure (AUDIO)

  • Urban27

    About the third reactor building, I have seen some photos where there were new build thick walls around. Very thick walls – I think they were about 10 meters thick or 33 ft.
    Does anybody know something about these walls.
    Or have someone some photo?
    I think it was in a video I saw these walls.


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  • Radio VicFromOregon

    I would expect that the engineers that value their lives at all will want to build something robust at Unit 3. And, i agree with Arnie about the canopy design. It is designed to look pleasing to citizens while actually concealing that it is a super over-structure that will be load-bearing to support cranes to remove the spent fuel. Rather clever really. But, they could dispense with the aesthetics. 2 things come to mind for me – this design will have a soothing effect on the population, and 2) Japan, in its denial, still expects to be the future leaders in radioactive contamination rehabilitation. This makes for a nice showcase to prospective clientele.


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  • patb2009

    a year to build this then 40 years to empty the fuel pools out?

    what are the odds of another Richter 8 quake? 1.0 they should totally just send people in and clear it out fast


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