Bloomberg, Nov. 8, 2013: Some experts, such as former nuclear engineer Michael Friedlander [who describes himself as "an avid supporter of responsible nuclear power"], say Tepco could be playing down the dangers of the process. “The thing that keeps me up late at night is that they’re getting ready to unload the spent fuel in unit 4,” said Friedlander, who spent 13 years operating U.S. nuclear plants. Tepco’s record of accidents at the plant, including power failures and contaminated water leaks, tests faith in its competence to perform such a delicate task, Friedlander said this week from Hong Kong during a phone interview. “It has the potential if it doesn’t go well to create a very, very serious accident,” he said.
Arjun Makhijani, President of the US-based Institute for Energy and Environmental Research: [He] remained concerned about the positioning of the fuel rods in the pool after the initial tsunami and subsequent hydrogen explosions at the plant, and said he hoped the plan was based on more than just Tepco’s assessment. “I hope that there has been some level of independent scrutiny on the transfer operation, and on the way the spent fuel is sitting in the pool currently,” he told a Berkeley California radio station. “But the lack independent outside advisors is very troubling.”
Sydney Morning Herald, Nov. 9, 2013: [...] The operation amounts to a nuclear high-wire act, carried out with cranes and other machinery operating on scaffolding above the No. 4 unit [...] On Thursday several Tepco spokesmen and plant superintendent Akira Ono took pains to say the removal process would not be risky or, in Mr Ono’s words, ”particularly dangerous”. But small bits of debris remain in the pool and could make it hard for engineers to cleanly pull out the rods. Some of the rods themselves could also be damaged and therefore could leak radiation. [...]
Published: November 8th, 2013 at 4:16 pm ET