Kyodo News, Nov. 18, 2013: [Tepco] said the fuel of the No. 4 unit was unlikely to have sustained major damage. [...] [Nuclear Regulation Authority Chairman Shunichi] Tanaka has also said the fuel assemblies do not appear to have been largely damaged, but that he cannot deny the possibility that “small scars may get bigger” when fuel is taken out and leaks radioactive gas as a result.
AP, Nov.18, 2013: Experts say the fuel rod sets may have been damaged or jammed by small pieces of debris that fell into the pool during the explosions. [...] Some damage to the units that was previously unknown could still be found.
NHK, Nov. 18, 2013: Workers may also find undetected damage to the fuel units.
BBC, Nov. 18, 2013: [It's a critical issue] whether the rods were damaged during the disaster and so are likely to leak [...]
See also: 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
Published: November 18th, 2013 at 7:16 am ET
- Top Nuclear Official: “Very large risk potential” when attempting fuel removal at Fukushima Unit 4 pool — CNN: Debris in rods may damage Tepco’s efforts (VIDEO) November 7, 2013
- Gundersen: Fukushima Unit 4 fuel racks distorted from quake and roof falling into pool — Nuclear rods likely to snap and won’t be able to be removed (AUDIO) September 12, 2013
- Damaged fuel rods are cracked and leaking radioactive gases in Fukushima Unit 4 pool; Wire appears trapped in racks — Another assembly bent when “mishandled during a transfer” November 14, 2013
- Kyodo: Level 1 incident at Japan nuclear plant — Deformed fuel rods stuck together in pool December 19, 2012
- Nuclear Expert: Fuel rods are “in a jumble” at Fukushima Unit 4 pool; Unclear if they are cracked — US pressing Japan on removal, fears terrorist activity at plant (VIDEO) November 6, 2013