Associated Press, Nov. 1, 2013: The [No. 4] reactor building was damaged by hydrogen explosions, and remains a source of international concern about a catastrophic open-air meltdown in case of a pool collapse, despite TEPCO’s repeated reassurance that it has reinforced the pool and that the building can withstand another major earthquake.
ABC News Radio, Oct. 31, 2013 — Richard Broinowski, adjunct professor at University of Sydney, Australia’s former ambassador to South Korea, Mexico and several other countries: Cooling pond 30 meters above the ground on bent legs — it’s been flawed and damaged by the earthquake, by the tsunami as well. It was badly constructed in the first place; the lateral support rods were not put inside when they should have been. It holds 256 tons highly radioactive spent fuel. [...] No one knows the condition of the spent fuel rods, probably some are fused. There has been a leakage of cooling water. How the heck you get them out with proper safety requires enormous feats of engineering.
Published: November 3rd, 2013 at 9:22 am ET
- Nuclear Expert: Fuel rods in Fukushima Unit 4 “may not be in their original position” — Concern over “way the spent fuel is sitting in pool” (AUDIO) November 1, 2013
- 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) November 6, 2013
- NHK: Fuel removal at Unit 4 underway — BBC: Concern casks not watertight, rods would contact air — WSJ: Exposure to air can cause sustained nuclear reaction — AFP: Tokyo evacuations if uncontrolled nuclear conflagration? AP: Rods contain plutonium, experts concerned quake to hit during process November 18, 2013
- Warning from Japan’s Top Nuclear Official: I am “much more worried” about fuel in Fukushima Unit 4 — Rods may break open and release highly radioactive material — Beware risks from debris, a disaster if damaged — Removal may start Nov. 8 October 30, 2013
- Seismologist: Coastline beneath Fukushima nuclear plant could crack open during quake — Japan sits with possibility of having it ripped open (AUDIO) November 28, 2013