Blast may have helped cool rods, The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 29, 2011:
A hydrogen gas explosion at the No. 4 reactor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant on March 15 may have helped prevent spent fuel rods from melting down [...]
It seems that shocks from the explosion damaged a water gate and caused water to flow into the pool from a neighboring part of the facility, TEPCO said.
The explosion, which the company assumes was caused by hydrogen gas, was so strong that the outer walls of the reactor building collapsed.
At the time of the explosion, the spent fuel rods had been overheating. If that had continued, the company said, the rods might have melted, spewing a far larger quantity of radioactive materials into the air than actually happened. [...]
Published: April 28th, 2011 at 8:03 pm ET
- TEPCO: Nuclear fuel rods in No. 4 spent fuel pool are “confirmed to be damaged” — First time damage revealed at any pool April 13, 2011
- Tepco prepares to film Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — “You can vaguely discern the fuel rods” says worker February 10, 2012
- U. of Tokyo analysis: Mystery explosion at Reactor No. 4 caused by radiation dissolving water in boiling spent fuel pool — Contradicts TEPCO’s assumption September 15, 2011
- Damaged Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 had 204 unused fuel rods inserted before quake + Scientists say another 9.0 megaquake may hit at year’s end = “Fukushima is still on the edge” October 29, 2011
- Tepco releases video of Spent Fuel Pool No. 4: Debris that fell on racks of fuel rods “apparently” caused no damage (VIDEO) February 10, 2012