Report: Tepco will start covering No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool tomorrow

Published: April 16th, 2012 at 11:20 am ET


*UPDATED HERE*: [intlink id=”tepco-foundation-improvement-work-begins-tomorrow-at-reactor-no-4-also-trying-to-prevent-rainwater-penetration-photos-english” type=”post”]{{empty}}[/intlink]

Title: Close-up on Fukushima pool debris
Source: World Nuclear News
Date: April 16, 2012

Work is about to begin on the installation of a cover over Fukushima Daiichi unit 4 prior to the removal of fuel from the reactor building, Tepco has announced. A cover has already been built over the remains of unit 1 to prevent potential emissions of radioactive material, and similar covers are due to be built over units 3 and 4. Preparatory work has been under way since late March and work will begin on the cover for unit 4 on 17 April, the company has announced.

*World Nuclear News “is supported administratively and with technical advice by the World Nuclear Association”; The WNA is “supporting a fast-globalizing nuclear industry”

For more details, see Enformable’s report from last week that contradicts WNN above report: Plans for Fukushima Daiichi Reactor 4 cover revealed on same day TEPCO applied for 1 trillion yen injection of public funds

The design of the 51m tall structure, to be covered by steel panels, will be completed by the end of June and construction will start this fall.

In preparation for the construction the remaining parts of the outer shell, pillars and roof of the 5th floor on the north side of Unit 4 needs to be removed, and this work will be completed by the end of June.

The crane to lift the fuel from Unit 4 is expected to be manufactured in the third quarter of 2012.

Published: April 16th, 2012 at 11:20 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Tepco releases document “in response to the concern that Unit 4 spent fuel pool may collapse” — “1st Inspection” begins tomorrow May 17, 2012
  2. Tepco checking ‘levelness’ of No. 4 spent fuel pool April 14, 2012
  3. Tepco: “Foundation improvement work” begins tomorrow at Reactor No. 4 (PHOTOS) April 16, 2012
  4. 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
  5. White sheets covering surface of Spent Fuel Pool No. 4 seen during top official’s tour of Fukushima Daiichi (PHOTO) April 23, 2012

55 comments to Report: Tepco will start covering No. 4 Spent Fuel Pool tomorrow

  • Bobby1

    The cover is just there to protect against rainfall, not to stop emissions. Or, if they say so, it won't work.

  • shiverca shiverca

    TOO LATE ! The thing just partially collapsed!

    If that fuel is exposed to air now ( can't see how it can be covered in water ) how will anyone get close enough before being cooked alive?

    I'll be watching radiation reports

    • Centaur Centaur

      Any link for that?

    • See for yourself ! How could it ever hold water again ???

      @ 2:11 the refueling bridge crane ! out of the water !!!
      Racks of Nuke Fuel Rods Exposed to Air – Volatile Plutonium Escaping – Arnie Gundersen
      Uploaded by 58784677 on Apr 1, 2011
      Updates on Fukushima – 2nd update for 31-03-2011

      • Spectrometising

        Heard it all before…..Covering the spent fuel pool is tantamount to saying…..

        "We are leaving all the spent fuel/etc inside."!!

        They need a crane with water pumped to the boom so that the cranes can lift the fuel rod assemblies one at time whilst being constantly drenched in water all the way.

        The way Arnie described is not the only way of lifting fuel rod assemblies out of the spent fuel pools.

        • Spectrometising

          A modified crane with water pumped continuously to the fuel rod assemblies as they are removed is the first thing they must do.

          Approximately this means that as the crane is lifting the assembly, the water would be in free fall over the spent fuel assembly and so it would receive cooling as it is being lifted and would not require being placed in a mini assembly vessel as it is being moved.

          All that would be required is an uninterrupted flow of water over the spent fuel assembly in mid air as it is lifted out.

          By enclosing unit 4, they will make it impossible to access the spent fuel pool and increase the radiation levels inside the area preventing access as the structure will become more and more contaminated with hot particles and radionuclide deposition.

          They should make the most of the opportunity to remove the spent fuel while they can still do so.

          Sealing it all in a building is insane if they have not carried out step 1 first.

          • Spectrometising

            Open air Crane Or a gantry crane and frame only.
            It is not necessary and a further horrifying waste of time and resources to construct an entire building to perform an evacuation of all the spent fuel material. In my opinion.

            And then there there is the question of a huge increase in the fortification against high wind conditions if it is to be covered in material for the purposes of enclosing it.

          • stopnp stopnp

            Good point. If there is an accident inside of there. Say a loss of coolant to the fuel pool. There could be another hydrogen situation. If that hydrogen collects in aN enclosed area….

            • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

              not to worry.. those tents do not hold anything in.. you can see #1 tent flappin and spewin all the time.. vent tent is what it is.. helps with public image..

    • Ace33

      I used a search engine to no avail there is no reports of partiallly collapsed sfp 4 as u claim pls provide links to your statements if they are true but dont spread rumors and then say search for yourself if true provide proof pls

  • patman


    Try a 'search engine'. (______)

  • chrisk9

    If #4 SFP collapses it will be instant news, and it's not. If building #4 falls down the government will have to start immediate evacuation of the entire island.
    Plan to build cover and remove fuel is great news if they can do it. Getting any amount of fuel removed will be very difficult and maybe impossible for the newer fuel, but this is the right direction. The longer fuel stays in the pool the greater the odds on a catastrophe.

    • Chrisk9

      I don't know if you've read the NRC minutes that were declassified but there are plenty of comments there about spent fuel pools 3 and 4 both having been destroyed.

      Additionally, Japan repeatedly censored information about the radiation dispersion plumes, preventing people from evacuating safely.

      There will be no immediate evacuation of the entire island.

      The entire crisis communication campaign in Japan and the US (and Canada) has focused on reducing public fears about the scope of the disaster, even when these efforts have prevented exposure mitigation.

      No major event at Fukushima that can be hidden will be announced, and no major mitigation efforts will occur.

      The lack of centralized testing for food demonstrates my point.

      • kintaman kintaman

        Sadly this is true I fear. It is all about damage control now to keep the people as calm as possible to prevent a collapse of the global economy and thus society. Sounds overly dramatic but it is what it is.

      • Buffalojam

        Majia – You have commented before on your belief that SPF4 no longer exists. I never wanted to believe it, the consequences of your being right are too dire to think about. I can no longer fight it off. To me, the pieces supporting your theory seem to fit better as each week passes leading me to believe that, indeed, SPF4 is already gone. Thank you for holding your ground on this one.

        • Buffalojam

          I do not know with any certainty that spent fuel pool #4 is entirely demolished.

          The evidence seems to support that it is, but the only thing I know for certain is that it was reported extensively damaged in March of 2011, with fires.

          I am very concerned that the magnitude of this disaster is being hidden because policy makers have no idea how to resolve it.

          However, I believe strongly that FULL transparency would produce cooperative efforts to control the plant and mitigate effects.

          Humans are incredibly innovative and our cooperative capabilities are inspired.

          Lies and censorship are what threaten us from awakening, growing, transforming, evolving.

          We will die soon if we don't start cooperating to solve the myriad problems we are creating.

          links to photos of the plant.

      • majia,
        That is why the readings are so high and going up, the "BLACK STUFF" is best bet from the pools burning into the air with nothing stopping them from getting into the air, that black smoke !

        : (

      • NoNukes NoNukes

        We haven't seen a photo of R4 sfp for a year. The NRC was convinced it was "gone" and there isn't the slightest shred of evidence to the contrary. I don't really understand why people think it exists.

        Tepco has been faking data for more than a generation. Reports of temperatures going up and down can be done in their sleep. Tepco hasn't even bothered to fake a photo or video of it, just sent out fuel pool footage that could be from anywhere.

        Their actions make absolutely no sense if there is that much fuel in that pool. However, if the fuel burned away in 24 hours, as the NRC suggested, well, the ridiculous "timetables" make more sense. Why not stretch the whole thing out? Create more suspense and control over the narrative.

  • Ron

    A couple of questions used on statements from Wnn:

    "Work is about to begin on the installation of a cover over Fukushima Daiichi unit 4 prior to the removal of fuel from the reactor building, Tepco has announced."

    Going to be pretty hot under that cover isn't it? How are they planning to remove the rods?

    "Preparatory work has been under way since late March"

    Is that March 2011 or 2012? If 2012 WHAT HAVE THEY BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME?

    Sorry for the yelling. And thanks.

    • Ron,
      Waiting for the fission to slow or get it stopped !

      • Spectrometising

        Xdrfox….pointless aimless answer.

        Ron…I am thinking the same thing Ron.

        First carry out step 1….remove material.

        Next carry out step 2 when all the material is off site.

    • Spectrometising

      Ron, the other question is if they build a cover instead of a simple gantry frame and crane, the structure will need to be heavily fortified against wind.

      If they were to build a modified crane or gantry frame crane, the structure would be hundreds of time lighter and faster to build than the steel structure required to support what is effectively a sail for the wind to catch every time there is a typhoon/hurricane/cyclone.

  • jahdesm jahdesm

    it is inbossible

  • They will evacuate the area each time a quake hits and wait and see if more fission is occurring !
    If not back to work as it has been !

  • "The crane to lift the fuel from Unit 4 is expected to be manufactured in the third quarter of 2012."

    I take it this crane is something like a vacuum cleaner that sucks up molten fuel?

    • Cataclysmic Cataclysmic

      Personally, I am waiting for Roomba to be completed.. new Roomba to pick up radioactive fuel rods and pellets.. giant beast roaming around, unmanned all over Japan.. 🙂

  • glowfus

    step 5, hire aqua man to repair underwater fuel rod assemblies and attach hoist 35 ton crane off of the broken bent burned fuel using his shoulders to,,,

  • markww markww

    This will work will keep water in the pool and keep radiation down by the thickness of the metal materials. This is to help so the people cant clean out the pool mark

  • markww markww

    can clean the pool

  • Whoopie Whoopie

    #Fukushima: Yahoo!! Austria will be nuclear-free future
    16th April 2012 16:47

  • hbjon hbjon

    Master Po say" It is like using a garbage can lid to stop a train".

  • Truth

    First of all – it has been said that if any of these rods fall, they will break the pool's floor. Well… how about the crane falling in? It has. Now, second – It has been shown that heating the rods makes them brittle. The fuel is out in the water for the most part and is a part of the water. Where will the water go? Perhaps it already has into the ground while more has gone in to take more of the fuel and mix it as it goes out again? (see part 1 with crane cracking the floor argument) Last point – If they plan to take rods out, what about the pellets in the water – how do they plan to pick them up with a crane?… And… where will all this "water" now go? I don't expect an announcement to any of these questions nor any answers from the official PR. Do you?…

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Aesthetics.. TEPCO? ..a little bit of slight of hand?
    Out of sight out of mind?
    Is it possible to have it in something that matches my shower curtain this time?

  • SteveMT

    If it looks like a sarcophagus, surrounds like a sarcophagus, and functions like a sarcophagus, then this is a sarcophagus.

    Waiting six months just for the special crane to be built sounds like an eternity. Where did those Germany concrete pumping trucks go to anyway? Start them pumping already.
    Hell hath no fury like radiation unleashed.

  • SteveMT

    If it looks like a sarcophagus, surrounds like a sarcophagus, and functions and protects like a sarcophagus, then this is a sarcophagus.

    Waiting six months just for the special crane to be built sounds like an eternity. Where did those Germany concrete pumping trucks go to, anyway? Start them pumping already.
    Hell hath no fury like radiation unleashed.

  • patriot9878

    What we need is a nuke plant in the USA to meltdown and then we could finally close these places. If you knew the damage done from Chernobyl and the nuke waste that has leaked into the water table and in the ocena. This plant could destroy the Pacific Ocean. This is serious. IF the people knew hemp would close all these nuke plants they would demand this. The truth be known it takes so long to build a nuke plant and all the extra safety precautions and after they close it takes decades to clean up the mess. They aren't even worth the destruction. You have to ask how these things were ever approved. If decent people don't take control of this world the money bastards are going to destroy it.

    • richard richard

      I think you mean 'have a meltdown – and the MSM tells the public about it'.

      Cos Obama and Exelon own all the mouth pieces – well, sorry, Obama is owned as well.

      I'm not sure if TMI went meltdown, or even if it did, was that public knowledge.

      I'm afraid the and the general public are so far up their own clacker that nothing will change.

  • patriot9878

    You talk about terroism. All someone has to do it attack these plants and cut off the electric and disable the generators the plant would have a meltdown. They would only have to hit 3 or 4 plants and this country is done. This would be so easy to do. They could do more damage with 15 people than a thousand bombers. We have in our country and many countries nuclear power plants when they are attacked the fuel burns and this occurs without water to cool them down. If I wanted to destroy this country I would send in people to destroy what we havee sitting in our laps and it could be down with a dozen guns and a few well placed bombs.