Tepco on risk at Unit No. 4: Spent Fuel Pool can withstand up to a lower-6 intensity quake without collapsing

Published: May 11th, 2012 at 12:37 pm ET
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18 comments


Doomsday scenarios spread about No. 4 reactor at Fukushima plant
Shukan Asahi Weekly Magazine (via AJW by The Asahi Shimbun)
By HIDEO SATO
May 10, 2012

[…] Arnie Gundersen, a U.S. nuclear engineer who visited Japan in February, has raised other concerns.

In an interview with Shukan Asahi at that time, Gundersen said the nuclear fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor still has the power to physically split the Japanese archipelago.

He said the spent nuclear fuel in the No. 4 reactor pool is equivalent to several reactor cores and contains radiation equal to the amount released in the atmosphere by all past nuclear experiments.

Gundersen has also written that the No. 4 reactor building’s structure has weakened, the building is tilted, and that he has advised friends in Tokyo to immediately evacuate should the No. 4 reactor collapse.

TEPCO on April 26 issued a press release that disputed Gundersen’s claims.

“The No. 4 reactor building is not tilted and it, including the storage pool, will not be destroyed by a quake,” it said. […]

In addition, the utility conducted a simulation exercise using analytical models that showed that even if a lower-6 intensity [not magnitude] quake were to strike the plant again, it would not collapse.

See also:

  • Mainichi: [intlink id=”breaking-mainichi-expert-sr-writer-govt-sources-say-no-4-pool-a-grave-concern-storage-pool-barely-intact-we-have-no-time-to-humor-senseless-thinking-of-those-who-downplay-the-risks” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • Murata: [intlink id=”former-japan-ambassador-warns-govt-committee-a-global-catastrophe-like-we-have-never-before-experienced-if-no-4-collapses-common-spent-fuel-pool-with-6375-fuel-rods-in-jeopardy-would” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • Wyden: [intlink id=”wsj-very-dangerous-situation-at-fukushima-daiichi-says-senator-taking-years-to-remove-fuel-carries-extraordinary-and-continuing-risk-no-comment-from-tepco-japan-govt-quake-could-send” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • Alvarez: [intlink id=”huffpo-media-just-beginning-to-grasp-that-danger-to-world-is-far-from-over-large-amounts-of-radioactive-materials-could-be-deposited-across-1000s-of-miles-nuclear-expert” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • Matsumura: [intlink id=”former-un-advisor-ive-been-told-maybe-50-years-to-contain-radiation-if-no-4-pool-collapses-during-50-years-continual-you-cannot-contain-video” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • Lyman: [intlink id=”paper-nuclear-expert-warns-even-if-no-4-spent-fuel-pool-survives-another-major-quake-failure-of-jury-rigged-inadequate-piping-installed-after-disaster-could-put-cooling-system-out-of-commission” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • Edwards: [intlink id=”canadian-nuclear-scientist-another-even-more-dangerous-possibility-than-fire-at-spent-fuel-pool-no-4-re-initiation-of-chain-reaction-can-occur-if-fuel-rods-move-slightly-an-accidental-critica” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
  • Burnie: [intlink id=”nuclear-expert-raises-doubts-about-support-columns-under-spent-fuel-pool-no-4-at-fukushima-daiichi-photos” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]
Published: May 11th, 2012 at 12:37 pm ET
By

18 comments

Related Posts

  1. Tepco Makes “Critical” Admission: Fukushima Unit 4 quake testing “does not take horizontal shaking into equation” — Claims it can withstand a “6+” quake only apply to VERTICAL shaking September 5, 2012
  2. Tepco: No. 4 reactor building can withstand 6-plus intensity quake -Asahi August 31, 2012
  3. Nuclear Expert: Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 likely to shatter or collapse onto its side in a M7.0 quake (AUDIO) April 11, 2012
  4. Kyodo: No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool’s cooling system stopped after alarm sounds — Tepco: “Leakage of water with radioactive materials has not been confirmed” June 30, 2012
  5. Tepco prepares to film Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 — “You can vaguely discern the fuel rods” says worker February 10, 2012

18 comments to Tepco on risk at Unit No. 4: Spent Fuel Pool can withstand up to a lower-6 intensity quake without collapsing

  • fireguyjeff fireguyjeff

    Wow!
    The pathology of TEPCO is just astounding!!

    So now this sort of implies (cynically) that we will lose SFP4 in a 5.5 quake and then hear no response from TEPCO.

    "…will not be destroyed by a quake,” is so far beyond delusional.

  • "…will not be destroyed by a quake…" Famous last words I'd say.

    I guess they forgot that a tsunami can come from a small quake just offshore.

    …or, like the dream I had the other night. Where a small quake put stress on crane parts that had become affected due to high rad counts. The cable then snapped and the crane's arm toppled into the Spent Fuel Pool. That's when I woke up. 🙁

  • VR

    Assuming the simulation of TEPCO of a tsunami would never overwhelm the sea walls at fukushima, and an earthquake would never disable the same nuclear plant.
    This lead me to think their simulations are not a good reference for security…

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Higher six or more will happen. And what Gundersen said, will happen.

  • Cisco Cisco

    It won’t take an earthquake to take down the #4 SFP. Oops, TEPCO and the other geniuses, so sure of themselves, like all the other educated imbeciles that foisted this horrific energy delivery system on us, are conveniently forgetting, that eventually the reacting spent fuel will burn through the bottom of the spent fuel pool floor (only 60 CM water left in #4 SPF)…and KABOOM!

    • Sam Sam

      where do you get only 60 cm left in #4 SPF?
      Does not leave much wiggle room if true.
      The vaporization must be greater than the
      ability of the pool to retain water. This
      radiological fire storm is closer than we
      think.

      • Cisco Cisco

        My mistake…60 cm of water left in reactor #2 as reported, March 26, 2012 by NHK. Considering what is ongoing at the Daiichi generating plant with the increasing radioactivity levels, it’s only a matter of time before personnel will be forced off the site, and the people managed, cooling water pumping will cease. Sooner or later it will be, “Gee we never saw that coming!”. And, it’s still KABOOM.

  • Dogleg Dogleg

    Makes me want to go all Kevin Blanch on someones ass!

  • Dogleg Dogleg

    And here is what the IAEA has been hard at work on. http://www.nuclear.kth.se/radioactiveorchestra/

  • SteveMT

    "The Titanic is unsinkable." TEPCO continues to live in Never-Never Land.

  • “The No. 4 reactor building is not tilted"

    Is this guy a decedent of the man who built the tower of Pisa?

  • glowfus

    surprisingly, the sfp#4 has made it through numerous 4,s, 4.5's and 5's so i suppose guessing it could hold up to a 6 isnt too fetched. what if a giant pre-fabricted steel i-beam cribbing system was installed underneath so we could concentrate on other issues such as core locating, evacuating, etc.

  • lam335 lam335

    re: "…even if a lower-6 intensity [not magnitude] quake were to strike the plant again, it would not collapse."

    It wouldn't have to collapse to trigger a catastrophic outcome. All that has to happen is for its cooling system to be damaged in a quake or for the crack it already has in it to increase enough that it could no longer continue to hold water. Either of these scenarios would enable the fuel to be exposed to air, at which point it would start to burn up.

    The reassurance about earthquake-related collapse is an attempt to deflect attention away from its real vulnerability. If it can't hold water and circulate it, a catastrophic fire will occur even if the structure itself does not collapse.

    • StPaulScout StPaulScout

      Even a good shaking that caused fuel to be freed from their fuel bundles and land in a heap on the floor of the pool could cause major problems. They have repeatedly stated that fuel bundles in SFP4 are damaged. Shake a bit of fuel loose, have it end up in a pile on the bottom of the pool, heats up, rinse and repeat. How many times will this need to happen before a major problem occurs?

  • What-About-The-Kids

    Somehow (call me crazy) this latest TEPCO assertion does not reassure me in the least…

    What about a 7 intensity? Or an 8?

    What does your dirty little voodoo science "assumptions," with which you so eagerly clog up your computer simulation software, say about those levels of intensity, TEPCO? Hmmm???

    As they say, "G.I.G.O.": Garbage in, garbage out.

  • jackassrig

    I know how we can get this argument won. Have TEPCO go to Lloyds and see if they will insure this mangled structure against catastrophic failure.

  • howardtlewisiii

    They can go into building 4 and take pictures and pose but they claim they can do nothing to shore up pool #4. Time to flush the turd running the containment effort and replace him ASAP.