Tepco Adviser: “Everyone in the world” will be safer if fuel rods transferred from Fukushima Unit 4 — WSJ: Global concern over removal process (VIDEO)

Published: November 18th, 2013 at 1:21 pm ET


Tepco advisor Lake Barrett (former U.S. Dept. of Energy official), Nov. 13, 2013 (at 28:30 in): The transferring of the fuel from the Unit 4 reactor to the common spent fuel pool will result in a better situation. It will be safer for the workers at the plant, the community around the plant, all of Japan, and everyone in the world.

Watch Barrett at Tepco’s press conference here

Wall St. Journal, Nov. 18, 2013: The removal process — in which 1,533 assemblies holding spent and fresh fuel will be taken from a storage pool high atop reactor No. 4 and moved to a common pool serving all six of the plant’s reactors — is a tricky one that’s been the subject of a fair amount of concern globally […]

Arnie Gundersen, Fairewinds Chief Engineer (at 11:45 in): It’s not like this radiation stops at the Pacific Ocean, it comes right over.

Full interview with Gundersen here

Published: November 18th, 2013 at 1:21 pm ET


Related Posts

  1. 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
  2. “Nothing like this has ever been attempted” — Yale Professor: “All of humanity will be threatened for 1000s of years” if rods in Unit 4 pool touch and have nuclear reaction during removal process — Tepco: “Not clear” if fuel is already damaged October 27, 2013
  3. Japan Diplomat: Concern fuel rods in Unit 4 pool are damaged — “Have they moved”? — Transfer process could go on for decades, not months October 22, 2013
  4. Kyodo: Concern about condition of Fukushima Unit 4 — Fuel rods may get dumped onto ground and burn up in quake — Tepco ‘hastening’ removal December 3, 2012
  5. Vice: ‘Suspicious’ death at Fukushima plant — Officials: Damaged nuclear fuel containers found in Unit 3 pool after removal of massive piece of debris — “High radioactivity prevented workers from carrying out the removal smoothly” — Concern about “new fuel failure” (PHOTOS & VIDEO) August 5, 2015

72 comments to Tepco Adviser: “Everyone in the world” will be safer if fuel rods transferred from Fukushima Unit 4 — WSJ: Global concern over removal process (VIDEO)

  • Holygeezer

    Yes Mr. Tepco Advisor, the world will be safer if the fuel rods are transferred from Fukushima Unit 4. That is unless of course you manage to bungle the process up so that you release an immense amount of radiation. Then there is the matter of Units 1, 2 and 3 which according to some make Unit 4 safe enough to bathe in. More and more lies from Tepco.

    • ftlt


    • Gradius

      We'll be perfectly safe because ALL us will die from Fukushima in years to come (GRF + GOP or Global Radioactivity Fallout + Global Ocean Poison).

    • davidh7426 davidh7426

      Mr Barrett… "Just how much is 40 pieces of silver worth on today's market ?? – And is it worth selling out all life on this planet, for such a paltry sum ??"

    • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

      Much of the rest of the media is reporting on 1,2 and 3 as if they are simply the next set of rods to be routinely removed. Right after (usually within a sentence or two) of mentioning that those three suffered from meltdowns.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Transferred where..may I ask??

    • We Not They Finally

      They'd tell you that but they had to put it on a waiting list after all the other unsafely-stored spent fuel. And regrettably, there's a 70-year waiting list, so you might not find out for awhile….

    • ftlt

      Great question HotR… They will probably just swing the boom over and drop into the blown open top of Unit #3..

      Screaming, Bansai!!!

    • scottyji scottyji

      Too bad there aren't any international NEUTRAL observers to verify that the photos and reports of the removal are of the actual assemblies in SPF 4.

      Guess we just have to Take TEPCO's word for it, right?

  • Flapdoodle Flapdoodle

    I feel safer already. Thanks TEPCO.

  • Heart of the Rose. Transferred 100 metres to the common spent fuel pool which already has over 6000 spent fuel bundles each containing 50-70 spent fuel rods. Then maybe they will start dry casking those spent rods 5 years and older. The dry casks will last only 100 years. We are downloading our garbage to our childrens children. Nuclear is a huge expense.

    • Kashiko Kashiko

      To another pool on the ground so therefore vunerable to all of nature's fury… Mmmmm

    • nedlifromvermont

      Yeah Mark … but put a discount rate/present value of future expense analysis to it, and the huge future expense just magically disappears into an insignificant sum … the magic of financial analysis … just as magic as the probability analysis that proved clearly that this all couldn't happen even once … and certainly not three times in a week …

      unless our numbers were wrong …

      … or unless the entire nuclear industry is wrong, and we've all been played for Patsies (take that Lee Harvey

      peace 'newsers, sleep …

  • This is important, I found this video after it had been "disappeared".

    It shows video of testing by Argonne National Lab that a standard nuclear reactor can blow sky high in a type of nuclear explosion.

    14 minutes into the video is the biggest bang

    This proves that Fuku 3 can and did blow up in a nuclear explosion, and that is the only way the force could be created to get underneath the nuclear fuels to launch them and aerosolized them into the atmosphere. Which is proven in the second link from EPA data that I data mined.



  • Nick

    Naturally occurring background radiation.

    Anyone know what the levels were B4 humans learned how to split the atom?

    Anything above that number = anthropomorphic, say post 1930ish.

    SP#4 rod/assembly/spent fuel removal is a shell game.

    The world will only be safer when a critical mass of humans realize how screwed up we are.

    With that realization will come a compassion for the natural world.

    The world will never become safer, because the latter can never happen. It's our manifest destiny to
    blatantly lie to each other about radiation and what is "natural background levels."

    Not one atom of Cesium-137, or Plutonium 239 is a safe one, not one.

    I now think of Fukushima as a 4-ring circus (actually 6 if you include 5 and 6).

    And today we have begun the daring dare-devil, death defying leap of moving spent fuel into a cask and then transferring it to a safer, much safer, very much safer pool, called the Common Fuel Pool.

    The leaking tanks? The missing Coriums? Pay no attention. FOCUS on #4. Now, marvel at the technological feat that humans can do. Hip hip hurray!

    I just wish our DNA was as confident as nuclear shills sound these days.

    • Sol Man

      Tangled-web cubed can no longer arrive at confident.

    • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

      "Naturally occurring background radiation. Anyone know what the levels were B4 humans learned how to split the atom?"

      The *only* reference I've been able to dig up is this:

      "World anthropogenic background radiation levels peaked at 0.15 mSv above natural levels in 1963"
      (From, "United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation" …which is now behind an authorization firewall)

      But I do know that the difference is great enough that when sensitive detection devices are built, steel from pre-1945 ships is highly sought after. Post-Atomic Age steel is contaminated by the air used in forging the metal. See: "Low Background Steel" for more info.

      From the wiki (but w/o citations): "Following Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the nuclear weapons testing during the Cold War, world background radiation levels increased 7% across all radioactive elements"

      It then goes on to claim that (pre 2011?) levels fell back to, "0.5%" over "natural levels". Again, uncited.

      • razzz razzz

        Before man began splitting atoms none of the elements above No. 92 on the Periodic Table never existed on earth in enough amounts to be listed in the table. You would have a hard time finding a handful of plutonium on earth in total before man went nuclear. All the elements above No. 92 are referred to as either synthetic or artificial or man-made. Sure there were trace amounts of some of those elements left but most had decayed away during the aging of the earth.

        Only what radioactive elements are created in the upper atmosphere when interacting with the sun's outflows or elements like radon gas that occurs from thorium in the earth's crust were know and listed in the Periodic Chart.

      • I debunked the current lies about what background is. Background is WAY less than what they claim…if you avoid stupid radiation exposure.


  • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

    The rods will be moved to the, "common spent fuel pool".

    Ignoring for the moment all of the inherent dangers in the process of actually getting the rods out of the building ('cause it really does have to be done)…just how safe is the common pool?

    Is this a matter of moving them from a location that has a 99% chance of massive failure in the next five years to one that has an 85% chance of massive failure?

  • soern

    exactly what i expected is this message without content.
    As Tepco spent a lot of money to install this show on that since april – june 2011 empty pool sfp4.
    Regrettably most will believe the message and ignore ongoing desaster and its consequences as ie. an not ending ocean stream which brings all that fukushima radiation to US Westcoast daily with no end in sight.
    Read EPA Radnet, add up all 9 different CPM readings for your town.
    Then divide it through 120 to get a comparable value in Microsievert/hr.
    And keep smiling 🙂

  • Styxhexenhammer666 Styxhexenhammer666

    The world would have been safer if TEPCO hadn't elected to erect a multi-reactor plant that close to the shore near a major faultline.

    Their plan has three flaws, as far as I can see it- first being that moving all of that material to one location could actually be worse if something catastrophic happens.

    The second problem- TEPCO has shown time and time again that it's not really up to the task of managing the site properly- how will the rod removal be different? I expect mistakes and bungles and with this process, a mistake could be disastrous.

    Finally, TEPCO is running out of truly skilled workers and hiring people with little to no training. In their hands, lies the fate of Japan (and the Pacific.)

  • Socrates

    Everyone in the world would be safer if they had never put all those rods there.

  • john lh john lh

    Race to death is better than waiting for death.
    I believe that is the mentality of those Tepeco creatures and behind of its.

    • soern

      "Race to death is better than waiting for death."
      If you dont know what is going on at Fukushima Daiichi and believe what that tepco adviser tries to say, ok.
      To get some documents of that NOAA Taskforce which informed their headquarters shortly after march 2011, regarding sfp4 at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan, you can read through many email documents here:
      It is important to read through all documents as then you also get an overview what mass media were ordered to report.
      Also this might be enformable:

  • Get your Geiger Counters out, protect yourselves! Tornado hits and damages Paducah nuclear MOX fuel plant, plutonium and DU involved. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhOa1fhAqK4

  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    NRC notification of Paducah Kentucky MOX fuel plant hit by tornado yesterday.

    "On 11/17/13, at 1417 CST, an alert was declared at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant due to an apparent tornado strike/severe weather event. Multiple facilities were damaged with no injuries and no hazardous material released. No damage to the security fence was observed and the protected area remained secured during the event.

    Anyone check their rad detectors in this area?

    • We Not They Finally

      A MOX fuel plant is called a "gaseous diffusion plant"?!

      • Wyakin Wyakin

        WNTF-Love the ?! The term “gaseous diffusion plant” belongs in the compost pile of other enlightening concepts from the nuclear ministry of propaganda:

        “Spent fuel”-fuel that is now deadly trash as the result of use in nuclear fission

        “Ultimate waste disposal”-no such thing

        “Energetic disassembly”-term used to describe how a nuclear reactor blows up

        “Rapid oxidization”-a fire

        “Unusual event”-term usually used to describe something, well yes, unpleasantly unusual in a place that is seriously deadly.

        And the list goes on and on…


  • timemachine2020 timemachine2020

    What about Arnie's comment where he said that transferring the salt water contaminated fuel loads into the common spent fuel pool would compromise and or contaminate the existing fuel already in the csfp? I say build a HOOVER DAM like structure around the existing breakwater's and the entomb the entire facility in concrete along with building a massive mountain drainage system that diverts ALL above and underground runoff water around the stricken plant and still run it through a proper filtration system before it reaches the ocean. ONLY CHANCE WE GOT.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture


    when we abolish nuclear power.

    Until then, nowhere is safe.

  • Crash2Parties Crash2Parties

    "Tepco Adviser: 'Everyone in the world' will be safer if fuel rods transferred from Fukushima Unit 4"

    So finally, Tepco is likewise explicitly admitting that everyone in the world is endangered, should something should go wrong with the transfer process.

    It's about time.

  • freespirit1620

    Imho, tepco is removing the unused fuel assemblies for reuse or resale.

  • vicky13 vicky13

    Just published by Tepco =

    Detailed Analysis Results in the Port of Fukushima Daiichi NPS, around Discharge Channel and Bank Protection Under ground Water Obtained at Bank Protection

    <Reference> The Highest Dose Until the Previous Measurement (Groundwater Obtained at Bank Protection)


  • zardoz2012 zardoz2012

    This may not be a popular opinion but I think at this stage of the game we might be better off giving TEPCO moral support instead of berating them. These guys have the future of mankind in their hands.

    We should not do anything that is going to affect their psyche or make them nervous, angry or jittery.

    And make sure the crane operator doesn't take NyQuil before he starts removing those rods.

  • vicky13 vicky13

    Found this via Simply Info,,



    It gets into how NPP's handle damaged fuel in their pools.

  • vicky13 vicky13

    wowee =

    The failure rate for Canadian fuel is 0.03%, (1) suggesting that 0~500 to 600 rods with defects are now in storage inCanada.

    The defects have not caused problems in fuel handling or storage.

    Types of Defects

    The principal types of defects in stored fuel are:
    pinhole defects in welds, hydride blisters,etc. longitudinal
    and circumferential cracks due to hydriding and pellet-clad interactions,large breaks inthe cladding, occasionally
    with cladding sections missing. Pinholes and small cracks appear
    to be the most common defect types;broken rods occur

    from document above and that was in 1977.

  • Wyakin Wyakin

    V13-good points. It does make you wonder what the true fuel state is in all the SPFs around the world.

    TM2020-Interesting that you mention the salt water contamination above at 5:00. There was an earlier reference in one of the recent articles to a cask “decontamination” step to be performed by Tepco. Not shown in the T or AG videos. I had read that T attempted with difficulty to desalinate the SFPs.

    Progress Status of Mid-and-long Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of Units 1-4 of TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station (Outline)10/22/12:


    Section 3): “…desalination of Unit 4 spent fuel pool has been completed on October 12[2012] (chloride concentration: approx. 9ppm or less, maximum allowed concentration stipulated by
    the technical specification: 100ppm).” Probably BS? Some of the other assertions in the report are.

    Under “normal circumstances” IAEA cask decontamination protocols: “Spent fuel storage and transport cask decontamination and modification; An overview of management requirements and
    applications based on practical experience” IAEA 1999. Basically starting on page 8, section 4.3, methods: water, mechanical, chemical, electro chemical, etc.



    • Wyakin Wyakin

      Typical decontaminates do not include saltwater: external surface of the fuel rods will, by adhesion, pick up a layer of activated corrosion products from the primary cooling system. This material is moved with the spent fuel elements into the pond and into the cask. Corresponding to the special conditions in the pond and in the cask, this crud can be dispersed from the fuel rods and become a loose (non-fixed) contamination in the pond or in the cask. (2)

      Since this is an onsite cask transfer, and the site is already contaminated, Tepco can pretty much make up whatever rules are in their economic interest regardless of resulting contamination spread whether it be radiation or seawater.

  • 6feetunder 6feetunder

    Unit 4 has more fuel than 1 2 and 3.


    Bloomberg today: Tepco planned to remove 22 assemblies from the pool, which contains 1,331 spent fuel assemblies and 202 unused assemblies, by the end of tomorrow, the company said.

    Number of Fuel Assemblies in Cooling Pools at Fukushima Daiichi
    (Reported 17 March by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

    Capacity Irradiated Fuel Assemblies Unirradiated Fuel Assemblies Most Recent Additions of Irradiated Fuel
    Unit 1 900 292 100 March 2010
    Unit 2 1,240 587 28 Sept 2010
    Unit 3 1,220 514 52 June 2010
    Unit 4 1,590 1,331 204 Nov 2010
    Unit 5 1,590 946 48 Jan 2011
    Unit 6 1,770 876 64 Aug 2010