Tepco to demolish makeshift cover at Fukushima Reactor No. 1 — Trying to remove “radioactive material” — Will take 4 years for new one (PHOTO)

Published: May 10th, 2013 at 10:29 am ET


Title: Cover on Fukushima reactor building to be demolished
Source: Asahi
Date: May 10, 2013

[Tepco] will demolish and replace the makeshift canopy covering a badly damaged reactor building at its Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in order to remove rubble and radioactive material.

TEPCO, which announced the plan on May 9, said it will take about four years to complete a new cover for the No. 1 reactor building before removing fuel rods from the reactor’s pool.

Although the amount of radioactive substances released from the reactor into the air will increase between the time the current cover is removed and the new one is installed, TEPCO said that it will not likely have a significant impact on the exposure assessment. […]

See also: [intlink id=”cover-reactor-1-be-removed-fukushima-plant-radiation-levels-expected-rise” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Published: May 10th, 2013 at 10:29 am ET


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18 comments to Tepco to demolish makeshift cover at Fukushima Reactor No. 1 — Trying to remove “radioactive material” — Will take 4 years for new one (PHOTO)

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    Unit1 will get a crane support structure identical to the one under construction at Unit4.
    The two cranes that handle fuel assemblies and remove reactor covers are part of the wreckage on the equipment floor of Unit1. As with Unit4, Unit1 will get a crane support structure before SFP1 can be emptied. Several years from now, when this structure has been built, and an attempt has been made to remove the spent fuel assemblies from SFP1, TEPCO will have to pull the reactor cover, and begin to deal with the remains of the reactor and containment vessel. The additional radiation releases from removing the existing Cover from Unit1 will seem like childs play compared to the radiation releases from decommissioning Reactors1,2,&3.

    As to the 85 tons of melted fuel, that was in Reactor1 on 3/11/2011? It is long gone, melted out the bottom of Containment1.

    The real questions concerning Unit1: How long is the corium lava tube by now? Where is the corium?

  • Cisco Cisco

    So, let me see if I get this straight.

    No matter how many releases and no matter what the releases contain, there's never any danger to the public, and that which gets released has little impact on the surrounding environment.

    We'll wait and see how that BS logic plays out when the Daiichi site
    becomes so radioactive, humans can't and won't go there.

    • mairs mairs

      Ah but they said it will "have little impact on the exposure assessment". They aren't saying it will have little impact, not exactly.

      • gottagetoffthegrid

        thats right. the assessment is a document they prepared sometime ago.

        if they don't make any edits to it then it is certainly safe to say that there will be "little impact" on it.

        the actual exposure on the other hand…

  • weeman

    Why did they cover reactor number 1 and not the other units, what is different, was this reactor not down for fuel refueling?, then why the high radiation levels, this has been on my mind since beginning, my guess the earthquake shook the fuel in the pool so much that they had criticality due to the fuel rods touching each other or coming to close to each other, if that is the case they will have to rethink the way they store spent fuel and reduce the load in pools and change the configuration of storage of spent fuel.
    The cover is probably increasing radioactivity on floor of reactor and have to lower to clear rubble and continue work.

    • ForwardAssist ForwardAssist

      Because molten corium was expelled across the upper deck of No.1 like lava,

      Kinda reminds me of Chernobyl,

    • ForwardAssist ForwardAssist

      No. 1 was operational at the time of the accident, no. 4 was the one down for refueling.

      • moonshellblue moonshellblue

        Also, No. 1 was the first to meltdown as the containment vessel ruptured from the earthquake or so I've read.

    • We Not They Finally

      It's nice to theorize about all this (they don't tell the truth, so I guess that we HAVE to), but no one can retrieve the corium already melted down in the earth. And if the already-fantastically-high radiation will INCREASE upon removing the cover, then why do it — especially it if will take "four years" (or forty, or "whatever") to replace it? As always, we think we are talking about a story, but we are really talking about a COVER story. By the way, the blog done by AGreenRoad explains a lot of things very clearly — worth the read!

      • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

        TEP.gov's Plan is to tear down Fukushim Units1,2,3&4, and haul everything away. Pretty simple, unless you think about the radiation releases involved. As I said when TEPCO announced their plan to tear everything out and haul it away, "Where to?" Where are you going to put those ruins that is a better place then Right where they are?

        A better idea, I felt all along, was to fill the plants with borated sand and concrete, and build a buttressed reinforced concrete Sarcophagus over the entire thing.

        What about the molten Corium1,2,&3, that was presumably on its way through Earth to Kansas? They would have had to drill a series of parallel holes from the bottom of the twin cofferdams that would eventually serve as the form for the reinforced concrete foundation walls, UNDER Reactor1,2,3,&4. This series of holes, parallel to ground level, but UNDER Corium1,2,&3, would be used to pipe liquid nitrogen under the Corium to freeze it in place.

        Only after the Corium is halted and confined, could a Sarcophagus be built. The twin cofferdams, 100' deep, and 100' apart, built completely around Unit1,2,3&4, would have completely stopped contaminated ground water from rushing into the Pacific Ocean. The liquid nitrogen system would have completely stopped Corium1,2,&3 from flowing through the layers of mudrock, and under the Pacific Ocean. TEPCO preserved shareholder value, but sacrificed the entire Earth.

  • CodeShutdown CodeShutdown

    The evil radioactive genie is out of the bottle and theres no way to get him back. Ive always been interested that people can work next to three complete meltdowns/blowups. They could open it up for tourism. re. the photo of cover building; If only the world viewed nuclear plants as more sinister than any Auschwitz camp.

  • I seem to remember that the #1 cover was simply funnelling the radiation up before being released up top the main function to make it less radio active for those on the ground. Maybe I'm wrong but I don't think the cover was designed to contain pollution.
    Cover was to protect from rain during the monsoon season. Lots of radiation pollution,mostly water but air too regardless of what covers are in place. A big mess no matter what they say or do.

  • jec jec

    And they are giving themselves FOUR years of unlimited emissions from Reactor 1. Anyone want to make a bet they start having a lot more problems..as in illness of their workers..?? Well..guess that is noticable IF its reported. Otherwise, they just go away…wonder what the families of the workers say..

    AND THE REST OF US GETTING RADIATION FALLOUT!!!! We all share the poison from Fukushima Nuclear disasters.

    • Trawling4Trolls

      This reference to 4 years might be TEPCO's telling us the condition and location of the fuel rods and corium(s).

      They might be waiting for a few half-lives to expire.

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    And where is Abe..snookering for nuclear in the Middle East..

    EDITORIAL: First of all, Japan should think about nuclear nonproliferation
    May 9 2013

    "Japan, the only country that has experienced the devastation caused by atomic weapons, is still grappling with the dire consequences of the Fukushima nuclear disaster just over two years ago. This country needs to spend time figuring out ways to make an effective contribution to enhancing the international system for nuclear nonproliferation.

    This is a grave issue that has a direct bearing on the safety of this planet. It is not an issue that should be discussed from the viewpoint of whether it can contribute to the government’s growth strategy."


  • Japan is the ONLY country to be bombed with nuclear bombs. It has stayed away from nuclear arms, (although secret nuclear weapons materials stockpiling programs are in place, sponsored by the nuclear industry folks).

    Now Japan has suffered from the horrors of nuclear energy AGAIN.. not just one reactor meltdown, but THREE, plus 3-6 melted down, burned spent fuel pools and three ongoing coriums, plus a nuclear criticality explosion at #3 that sent 'hot' fuel miles out into the ocean and surrounding land mass.

    If ANY nation was going to be an example of how to disarm, live peacefully, and implement a 100% renewable clean carbon free energy future, Japan would logically be the candidate, due to all of the suffering they have endured.

    They have experienced the darkness. Now it is time for the light. But first, one has to face and surrender to the darkness and experience the dark night of soul, to come out of it and enter the light. Suppressing this 'dark night' does not help matters.

    Let the darkness be. Just state the facts and let the chips fall where they may.

    The Japanese have a an ancient and very noble tradition of honoring ancestors, environment and Nature.

    Where is this being expressed around Fukushima?


  • List Of Countries And Nations With NO Nuclear Power Plants Is Growing; via @AGreenRoad