Japan Times Headline: Machine fell into MOX spent-fuel pool -Tepco — “Highly dangerous mixed oxide fuel”

Published: April 14th, 2012 at 11:11 am ET


Title: Machine fell into MOX spent-fuel pool: Tepco
Source: Kyodo via The Japan Times Online

A hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 plant last March sent a 35-ton machine plunging into the spent-fuel pool of reactor 3, which uses highly dangerous mixed oxide fuel, Tokyo Electric has reported. 

[…] The No. 3 reactor is the only one at the crippled power station that was powered by the plutonium-uranium MOX.

Tepco released a photograph that appears to show part of the machine, which used to hang directly above the 11.8-meter-deep pool and was used to insert and remove fuel rods, resting on storage racks for the fuel rods. […]

“We believe the machine fell into the pool when the explosion occurred, but we have not found any indication it damaged the pool’s walls and caused any leaks, or that it damaged the spent fuel” –Junichi Matsumoto, Tepco spokesman

Read the report here

Published: April 14th, 2012 at 11:11 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Confirmed: 35-ton machine “sitting on top of the spent fuel rack in the pool” of Reactor No. 3 — Extent of damage not yet known (VIDEOS) April 17, 2012
  2. Kyodo: Tepco finds 35-ton machine fallen in No. 3 fuel pool — Appears to have dropped on nuclear fuel racks (VIDEO) April 13, 2012
  3. Asahi: New photos show extensive damage at No. 3 fuel pool — 35-ton machine that appears to be on fuel racks is a crane April 14, 2012
  4. 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 March 30, 2015
  5. Highest Yet: Iodine-131 in No. 3 spent fuel pool at over 1,000,000 times normal — “Generated during nuclear fission” (VIDEO) May 10, 2011

28 comments to Japan Times Headline: Machine fell into MOX spent-fuel pool -Tepco — “Highly dangerous mixed oxide fuel”

  • StillJill StillJill

    They lost me at 'hydrogen explosion'!

    • Whoopie Whoopie

      They lost me over a year ago, Spinning the News to make everything seem fine and dandy, which it is not. 🙁 Morning SJ.

    • takedake

      I'll reply also to the comment below:

      "A 35-ton machine falls how many feet onto spent fuel with fragile cladding and causes no damage?"

      What I've seen in my years living in Japan is: A) TEPCO, as we know know, like real estate construction companies, is chock-full of slimy semi- or full-on Yakuza types. If you've ever dealt with an unctuous, conniving RE person in Japan you know what I mean. (Not banging the Japanese in particular here). So they have and will continue to lie, deceive, prevaricate, obfuscate, stonewall, etc etc until this is all over, i.e. in 50-100 years.
      B) Japanese are always bullshitting each other, it's an excepted part of social interaction–true everywhere, but in Japan, if you can come up with a semi-plausible reason for something to an equal or underling, you'll often get let of the hook–this is the reverse-side of being polite.
      TEPCO et all, as part of the techno-elite, are "above" the average little Japanese citizen. So they will have little incentive to do anything but aim every word and action at one goal only–saving their asses to the extent they can.

      • takedake

        Yikes, I can't type for sh*t today.

        "As we now know…"

        "an accepted part of social interaction"

        And I didn't make it clear but this 'hydrogen explosion" crap is the same thing. Kind of like the bit about 700-degree diesel fuel fires bringing down huge steel buildings in an hour's time 11 years ago that was crammed down our throats and is now gospel.

  • HoTaters HoTaters

    A 35-ton machine falls how many feet onto spent fuel with fragile cladding and causes no damage?

  • whathefuku

    We knew this since the beginning, do we really need to be told what we can see with our own eyes? The whole thing blew up and rained back down hundreds of tons of crap and NOW they are telling us this little fact? How much longer are they going to play this game of dribbling out new "revelations" when there are huge unanswered questions that could be answered with things like ground penetrating radar and satellite monitoring of radio isotope signatures? Where is the "great science" now?

  • markww markww


  • markww markww


    • Plan Nine

      Perhaps, As Louis XVI's finance minister said to Marie Antoinette regarding what he would do about the deficit – "Nothing, Madame. The problem is too serious." Tepco can claim the problem was caused by an Act of God – as long as they don't destroy the SFP trying to recover the fuel assemblies.

  • Sharp2197 Sharp2197

    A year after the explosion they tell us the crane is in the pool.
    At this rate in 10 years they will tell us they need to get the crane out of the pool.

    • jec jec

      @sharp2187 Close, I figured at 1,000 years for removal of the crane from SPF #3. Didnt think they had the brains to come up with a requirement to REMOVE the crane FIRST. (sarcasm of course on). You are spot on.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    I wouldn't listen or react to what they say …they're helplessly waiting to see how saturated the island will become, as are we.

  • alasanon

    *ONLY* 35 Tons!..ok. Just got back from the Toyota dealer, too!.. :/ I asked someone how they are faring with the nuclear disaster and at least they seemed cognizant, although they say the Japanese factories are all back on line…They haven't moved Toyota HQ yet, apparently?… :/ Thanks, Japan, for my great cars, but please apply comparable skill and attention to your tons of crisis!!!

  • alasanon

    Also, the Toyota dealer rightly pointed out that the Fukushima nuclear reactors were made by General Electric!! :/

    C'mon, Japan!!!

  • bigfatscaryman sdyogini

    How about we just assume, and rightly so that this is bombarding us all and at some point sickness will find us…ok, and do everything you can to mitigate the damage and become more consciousness than physical body and forget fear so we don't get crushed by the pain of seeing others dropping dead, *sigh*

  • lam335 lam335

    "A hydrogen explosion at the Fukushima No. 1 plant last March sent a 35-ton machine plunging into the spent-fuel pool of reactor 3"

    How did the explosion at #1 cause this huge thing to fall into #3, while leaving the #2 building essentially intact?

  • chrisk9

    This is the refueling bridge that moves fuel from the reactor cavity to the spent fuel pool. It travels along the floor on rails and is slightly wider than the fuel pool. This is a very large object that would certainly damage the fuel and fuel racks enough that it will be a major obstacle to removing fuel. The overhead crane that is attached to the ceiling and is as wide as the building could hypothetically probably lift the refueling bridge out of the water. But that crane fell down also and lies somewhere on the refueling floor in pieces.

  • flatsville


    Fukushima #1 is the Daiichi Plant

    Fukushima #2 is the Daini Plant

    The article is referring to the #3 reactor at the Fukushima #1 plant–Daiichi.

    Reactors #1, #3 and #4 had some level of hydrogen explosions that damaged the containment buildings.

    Reactors #2, #5 and #6 still have walls and roofs. (?)

    • lam335 lam335

      I am aware of the meanings of Daini and Daiichi.

      I was asking how an explosion at reactor # 1 so dramatically impacted reactor # 3, while not severely damaging reactor #2. Since they are numbered in order, reactor #2 is closer to reactor #1; reactor #3 is farther from reactor #1, is it not?

      The building surrounding reactor #2 is still relatively intact (aside from a small hole), yet they are saying that the explosion at reactor #1 caused the 35 ton thing to fall into the SFP at reactor #3.

      My question is how can it be that the explosion at reactor #1 did more apparent damage to reactor # 3, which was farther away, than it did to reactor #2? That seems to be what they are claiming.

      • flatsville

        I re-read the article. I see mention of only Plant #1 and reactor #3 at that plant.

        I don't see anywhere in the article where they imply reactor #1 caused an explosion in reactor #3.

        I see no mention of reactor #1 at all.

        Just plant #1.

        Cut and paste the section you find confusing.

      • Wotcha Wotcha

        @iam335 I think you have just read the article wrongly. I agree with flatsville, it doesn't say Reactor#1 but says Fukushima No.1 plant meaning Daiichi, and is about Reactor#3 there. Makes sense to me anyway 🙂

  • dear jones

    They sure Reactor#3 still there ?????

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    "A Visual Tour of the Fuel Pools of Fukushima"

    Amazing photos: Link to this post on Washington's Blog, 4/15/12.

  • dave14139

    Time to get real. There is no feasible way to clean up the spent fuel pools in the foreseeable future. The cranes required to lift the fuel bundles are destroyed. The overlying debris would have to be removed to provide access to the pools. Seems they cannot even get close to #1 and #3 to examine them – let alone begin demolition work on them. The best we can hope is that the fuel pools can be kept cool and full of water.