Reporter on Unit 4 Pool at Fukushima: Water was muddy and brown — Fuel inside not visible

Published: February 21st, 2013 at 1:33 pm ET
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(Subscription Only) Title: High radiation bars decommissioning of Fukushima plant
Source: AJW by The Asahi Shimbun
Author: HISASHI HATTORI
Date: February 21, 2013

[...] A shroud has been placed over the [Unit 4] spent fuel storage pool on the top floor. The water temperature was about 20 degrees. The water, seen through an opening, was muddy and brown. The fuel inside the pool was not visible. [...]

See also: Is the nuclear fuel in Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 damaged?

Published: February 21st, 2013 at 1:33 pm ET
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21 comments

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  1. Yomiuri Reporter: Fuel rods were not visible when looking under sheet covering Unit 4 pool May 28, 2012
  2. Nuclear Industry Report: ‘Reduced stability’ of fuel pool in Fukushima Unit 4; Admits there’s damaged fuel inside? — Gundersen: Fuel racks moved and damaged; Fallen debris distorted tops (AUDIO) September 27, 2013
  3. Power still not restored at Fukushima Unit 3 fuel pool and Common Fuel Pool — No fresh cooling water for over a day — Tepco: Extremely sorry it took so long to announce blackout March 19, 2013
  4. Asahi: Secret cable shows highest-ranking U.S. military officer ‘deeply concerned’ about Fukushima Unit 4 after 3/11 — Fuel pool “might be empty” and needed water from above February 7, 2013
  5. NRC March Email: “The walls of the Unit 4 spent fuel pool have collapsed, and there is no water in there” January 11, 2012

21 comments to Reporter on Unit 4 Pool at Fukushima: Water was muddy and brown — Fuel inside not visible

  • We Not They Finally

    This was ALWAYS suspicious. Who would believe that ANYTHING above-ground could contain anything in that bombed-out building? Odds-on just one more huge monstrous lie. Now what do the people who predicted the end of the world "if" that fuel pool collapses, have to say? They all meant well sounding the alarm — almost no one else was even SAYING anything. But maybe it's all long since been over — we just are not yet flooded with massive medical emergencies.


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  • We Not They Finally

    O.k. SOMEONE REALLY NEEDS TO EXPLAIN THIS: We've been told for quite some time now that the fate of the world depended on Unit 4 not collapsing. (And apparently well-intentioned people were saying that, including nuclear experts.) The reason being that if that happened, it would set off a nuclear fire that no one could put out and it would spread to ALL of the melted fuel from ALL of the reactors. Now it turns out that there is NO FUEL to topple to the ground?? Does that mean that Unit 4 long since went into total meltdown along witbh Units 1, 2, and 3? Just that "no one noticed" since there was no explosion attached to it? And by the way, since no one has gotten near the corium from the meltdown of the other reactors, all presumably OUTLANDISHLY "hot" (= both radioactive and temperature-wise), how do we know that the "forever nuclear fire" has not ALREADY been burning since the time of the catastrophe? CAN SOMEONE WITH SOME EXPERTISE DECIPHER THIS??


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  • We Not They Finally

    Correction: Now I see from a previous article on ENE News (2/7/13) that Unit 4 DID explode — on March 15, 2011. But the questions posed still stand: Do these (4 now) melted cores ALREADY have a forever-burning nuclear fire? And did the said explosion go INTO THE AIR AND MOVING AROUND THE WORLD? That's over 1500 fuel rods from that reactor aloone — and SPENT fuel rods which means they were MORE radioactive than the new ones.


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    • HoTaters HoTaters

      Well yes, the cores are continuously irradiating the water, air, soil; whatever comes into contact with them.

      The spent fuel is another matter, entirely. The spent fuel is 1 million or more times as radioactive as is "fresh" or "unspent" fuel which hasn't completed being used in the fuel cycle.

      Here's a reference:

      http://www.energyjustice.net/nuclear/

      There are others here, such as Stock or Pattie B, PU239 (sorry if I'm not giving anyone credit) with nuclear expertise who can better address what happens if spent fuel catches fire. They could state better what it means if a fire starts in a SFP (it doesn't "burn" in the normal way we think of a fire), and why it likely or probably cannot be extinguished when it starts burning. Maybe the fuel has to be in a certain configuration for the fire to just keep going.

      I mention that because the NRC reports said there was fire in SFP #4 at least twice. We never (to my knowledge) got follow up reporting on what happened after those fires occurred, early on. Maybe they were able to be extinguished when the water supply was restored? I don't know.

      Sometimes it seems like it's anyone's guess what's going on over there. I think unless one has high level security clearance and can review remote sensing and GIS data (high level govt. or military clearance) one isn't likely to know the truth ….


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      • HoTaters HoTaters

        Would venture to guess the govt./military also have some thermographic imaging which can show "hot spots" from space or high altitude. Am sure that's already being monitored, as are levels of radiation in the air, water, etc. I'm sure there are scientists at work modeling what's happening around Fukushima (think Hanford, WA), but we aren't being told.

        These people may act foolish (certainly foolhardy in the area of playing with their death-wish toys), but they're not all stupid. Many of them "get it" when we're talking about a nuclear "accident" on the scale of Fukushima.

        Until or unless someone turns whistleblower from within their ranks, we'll likely be kept in the dark ….


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        • HoTaters HoTaters

          There are probably imaging technologies we laypeople (non military) can only guess at or dimly imagine. The technology generally runs 20-50 years ahead of public consciousness.

          What I'd really like to know is whether or not there are also technologies for cleanup about which we know nothing.

          Judging from the situation at Hanford, I'd guess "no," unless the cleanup technologies are just too expensive to be used. But hmmn, when the survival of all humanity is at stake, well, what then?

          Oh, yeah, we're dealing with the "health physics model" of radiation exposure. I don't think those people have gotten it through their non-functioning reptilian brains there is truly a threat, yet.

          Massive denial? Or what? Too much profit to be made through inaction, or …. ?


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          • We Not They Finally

            massive denial is just a way to remain sane and avoid inevitable panic and despair. I wish the planners of nuclear energy would have concerned themselves with what openning pandoras box might do to the the world.But Greed and ignorance created this last days scene….So no punishment is great enough. Let those who created this disaster live long enough for them to understand what they have done without denial hope or future….


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  • Sol Man

    Invisible fuel is not there. Then it is below or went up as micro-dust. How much from these 4 fails is in the atmosphere. Somebody had put up here earlier a clip from Before It's News about ten year spread of Cs in the Pacific. It is difficult to watch, but that is the reality that was made for us. How much went up? I'll find the clip and repost.


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  • Sickputer

    It's possible the majority of the spent fuel rods at Units 3 and 4 long ago burned away and only burnt slag remains. There were many fires at Units 3 and 4 in the first year.

    From what I have read lately, the threat of Unit 4 collapsing may be very slim because they have laid huge amounts of steel girders and poured tall solid blocks of concrete in the areas below the SFP. There may be little risk of failure now. But what if the bird has flown the coop?

    I expect we will have some answers this year for Unit 4, maybe not for 1-3. The lack of a hot fissile fuel meltdown at Unit 4 means the building is safer to approach and work around. Units 1-3 are still hot death traps.

    This is the year they said the spent fuel rods at Unit 4 would be removed. We will be waiting.


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  • VanneV anne

    High radiation bars decommissioning of Fukushima plant
    "’But it is 1,000 microsieverts on the north side close to the No. 3 reactor building. Keep your distance.’…
    “The amount of radioactive water stored in tanks and other facilities rose to 230,000 tons this month, up from 10,000 tons in July 2011.
    “In addition, an estimated 100,000 tons of water have accumulated in the basements of buildings.
    “Currently, there are nearly 500 storage tanks on the plant premises, many as tall as three-story buildings. TEPCO plans to add more by 2015 when it expects to have to store 700,000 tons of radioactive water….
    “Currently, workers cannot easily approach the three reactor buildings where the meltdowns occurred due to high radiation levels. They have been removing debris, such as concrete blocks, on the plant premises.
    “Work to remove melted fuel from the three reactors is expected to begin by around 2022. Fuel is believed to be scattered within the pressure vessels, containment vessels or piping systems, but exact locations remain unclear….
    “In addition, TEPCO has yet to identify where radioactive water has been leaking from the damaged containment vessels. The containment vessels must be filled with water before melted fuel is removed.
    “In December, TEPCO sent a remote-controlled robot near the pressure suppression chamber in the No. 2 reactor building to find out where water was leaking. But the mission failed when the robot lost its balance and got stuck….”


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  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    Those dang robots.. drinking on the job… taking too many breaks and then passing out.

    It is hard to find good robots.


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  • AGreenRoad AGreenRoad

    So why can't they remove fuel from anything until 2022?

    Could it be that they DONT WANT TO EXPOSE THE TRUTH of what is

    NOT THERE ANYMORE?


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  • CB CB

    Well, almost evenly distributed around the northern hemisphere.


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    • CB CB

      Repost ~ It's Pollen season,
      The radioactive isotopes that were inioized / arosolised and fell out are
      in the runoff, and continue in the water. It does not dilute. So, with
      pollen season here, approaching, the pollen will have the radiculines in
      them. So a re-fallout is imminent. At least try to protect your self from
      the pollen. When you cough, spit, don't swallow. There is not a filter small enough to stop its pass
      through into trees, plants, grass. Try to keep up on the pollen count in
      your area. :-( Cesium has a melting point of 83 degrees. Turns into
      liquid and vaporises, condenses and has a yellow color, looks like
      pollen after fallout in enough concentration. Yellow rain, thought to
      cause metal mouth.


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