Sources: Unit 4 fuel assembly to be ‘cleaned’, not yet in shared pool — Tepco declines to comment — Trying to determine how much cladding has been eroded or damaged by seawater (NEW PHOTO)

Published: July 18th, 2012 at 11:31 pm ET


Title: N-rod taken from Fukushima plant
Source: The Yomiuri Shimbun
Date: July 19, 2012

Source: Yomiuri Shimbun


The rod was removed to determine how much of the fuel cladding had eroded or been damaged, TEPCO said.


The removed fuel rod was carried from the reactor building after it was secured in a transport vessel. The rod will be inspected to determine how it has been affected by seawater injected into the reactor to cool the pool after the disaster knocked out the plant’s cooling functions.


(Subscription Only) Title: 2nd unused nuclear fuel rod to be taken out from Fukushima No. 4 unit
Source: Kyodo News
Date: July 19

Tokyo Electric Power Co. will take out the second of two unused nuclear fuel assemblies from a spent fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor of its Fukushima Daiichi power plant Thursday as it examines the extent of damage to the stored fuel ahead of the start of full removal work from late next year. 


The fuel assemblies will be transferred to a so-called shared pool in a different building at the plant following cleaning in water, according to sources close to the issue.


Title: Workers remove 2 nuclear fuel rods from Fukushima reactor
Source: AP
Author: Yuri Kageyama
Date: Jul. 19, 2012 – 06:45AM JST


Fears run deep about the large amounts of radioactive material stored in the pool, which unlike fuel in the cores of the reactors is not protected by thick containment vessels.

Japanese TV showed cranes removing the 4-meter rods. Plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) declined comment, citing the need for secrecy in handling nuclear material.

According to a worst-case scenario prepared by the government about Fukushima’s conditions, a loss of coolant in the spent-fuel pool at reactor No. 4 could have caused a massive release of radiation and forced millions of people to flee.


Published: July 18th, 2012 at 11:31 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. Tepco to remove fresh fuel from No. 4 pool this summer — “Hoping to determine how damaged unused assemblies are” May 28, 2012
  2. Tepco requests media not film Unit 4 operation — Checking if fuel was affected by UNIT 3 explosion — 2nd assembly to be removed Thursday (PHOTO) July 18, 2012
  3. Damaged fuel rods are cracked and leaking radioactive gases in Fukushima Unit 4 pool; Wire appears trapped in racks — Another assembly bent when “mishandled during a transfer” November 14, 2013
  4. 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
  5. Suspected damage to fuel assembly racks in Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — See anything missing? (VIDEO) November 21, 2011

24 comments to Sources: Unit 4 fuel assembly to be ‘cleaned’, not yet in shared pool — Tepco declines to comment — Trying to determine how much cladding has been eroded or damaged by seawater (NEW PHOTO)

  • durando durando

    One down to many to go

  • jec jec

    Why no comment? Likely the news media already has the footage and TEPCO is in full coverup mode. So the cladding is damaged(the case/covering) — there will be a lot of blog entrys over the comments in the newscast!

  • Off hand, I would say ALL the cladding has been damaged. and I can't see it from here.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Cleanse it..cleanse it how? with steam?
    "One disadvantage of metallic zirconium is that in the case of a loss of coolant accidents (LOCA) in a nuclear reactor, the Zr cladding rapidly reacts with water steam at high temperature. Oxidation of zirconium by water is accompanied by release of hydrogen gas. This oxidation is accelerated at high temperatures, e.g. inside a reactor core if the fuel assemblies are no longer completely covered by liquid water and insufficiently cooled"

  • Sickputer

    So where are the two assemblies currently, what needs to be cleaned, and how do they plan on scrubbing them? Questions, questions.

    Remember these were the assemblies that never went fissile in the main core before 311. So they had hoped they were going to be a slam dunk to remove.

    Well, remember the two dead robots… They were rendered immobile by radiation inside Unit 2. The fuel rod assemblies in Unit 4 have been on fire at least twice and have been stewing in the stagnant water for 16 months. I think they were surprised the two fresh assemblies have picked up a bad dose of radiation.

    Tepco needs some assistance and the sooner the better. It is not a disgrace to ask for help. Do it and save the planet.

    • richard richard

      Hi sp. Your last paragraph is what I've been hanging on for over a year. The fact that they don't call for help suggests there is a secret they don't want let out.

      Weapons or illegal storage maybe?

      • Centaur Centaur

        Nah… it's just, that it would send out the message to the world, that there REALLY IS a BIG problem with this nuclear power plant – with all it's "nasty" PR consequences for the people who are still trying to promote nuclear energy. :/

  • patb2009

    is it me or is the deck bowing in many of these pictures?

  • getoutwhileyoustillcan

    So what happens if the fuel cladding erodes too much while it's sitting in the sfp? Do all those little fuel pellets fall out, and start reacting with each other? Something tells me I don't really want to know.

  • JustmeAlso

    Tepco and transparency do not mix..

    • Horseman of the Apocalypse Horseman of the Apocalypse

      No doubt, concerns would involve cracking of the zirconium alloy tube structure. Interesting paper. Of the 22 participants, not one scientist represented the U.S.A., but four scientists (Bickel, Choubey, Coleman and Leger) represented the Canadian nuclear industry. Even so, we hear not a peep from Canada's nuclear experts regarding this matter, do we?

      Seems no one is the least bit concerned that the beautiful west coastline has been irreparably damaged, if not ruined.

  • kintaman kintaman

    "oh by the way Japan and the world, this week we will be performing some very high risk work that may want you to think about evacuating if you have not already. Just thought you should know." – TEPCO.

    Thanks for telling us nothing again TEPCO.

  • Radio VicFromOregon

    Well, who knows what TEPCO has said and what the media has interpreted. I guess i'm not so interested anymore in who is lying about what. I'll just take it as an ongoing standing expectation that lies are being told. But, there are enough technical nuclear experts around the world who have spoken up that allow us to make some good educated guesses as to what is happening. My best guess is that this is the engineers first chance to get a really good look at any fuel rod from SFP4, so the rods are off in a pool somewhere in a containment room being given a close look-over, maybe some testing. The condition of the cladding may be the decider if they can proceed with the plan of removing the rods or not.

  • lam335 lam335

    Maybe the rod has some of that "spider"-like "biological" stuff that was growing on fuel rods in the Savannah river site (if I am remembering the location correctly). If they poured sea water in there, all kinds of micro-organisms might have gotten into the pool.

  • Andres Arce Andres Arce

    Looking at the pictures:
    TEPCO was already laying a sarcophagus over the third reactor unbeknownst to everyone ?

  • I believe the damage has been done. That's why they went from "We'll get around to this job several years from now", to the 'Hail Mary pass' scramble mode.

    Based on observations from the TBS web cam, although blurry, there appears to have been major emissions coming from the lower level of Unit 4 on the night/morning of the 17/18th of July. Probably out of the big hole in it's side where the slip/crack is.

    There was an unusual/different kind of quick light flash event which occurred on the 15th of July. The source of the flash, as it appeared to me, was close to or at Unit 4.

    A compilation video of some screen shot photos captured from the TBS/jnn youtube 'live' cam over the last several days.

    The 'original' untouched shot, followed by the 'enhanced' filter.

    Thru the FOG Video #3 (1:50 seconds)
    See NOTES in the upper left of the video.
    (Be prepared to Pause/Play/Rewind)