Top Japan Nuclear Official: I can’t deny that fuel in Unit 4 pool has damage; ‘Scars’ on rods can grow and cause radioactive leaks when removed

Published: November 18th, 2013 at 7:16 am ET
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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
By

21 comments

Related Posts

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Kyodo: Level 1 incident at Japan nuclear plant — Deformed fuel rods stuck together in pool December 19, 2012
  5. 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

21 comments to Top Japan Nuclear Official: I can’t deny that fuel in Unit 4 pool has damage; ‘Scars’ on rods can grow and cause radioactive leaks when removed

  • ToBeExpected ToBeExpected

    The 'event' has made it to the pages of Yahoo, albeit somewhere near the bottom of the pile.. but it made it, nevertheless. A good thing….? Only time will tell.

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/operator-japans-fukushima-starts-hazardous-long-fuel-removal-113604599–finance.html#AcppTmO


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    Considering the origin of the EXPLOSION…it seems I need to repeat this.
    CONSIDERING THE ORIGINS OF THE EXPLOSION.
    The SFP had to have been damaged.
    Considering the severity of the explosion…damaged severely.
    The true extent of damage..needs to be considered.

    (PS. Caps= yelling..yep)


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  • w29r7 w29r7

    This is very bs, the way now they put in…


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  • ftlt

    Good luck to them and to all of us…

    It is clear there are problems… But, now is the time to get the job done…IMO…

    I understand others (like Gunderson) lack confidence in TEPCO…

    Another but here… If TEPCO won't hand off the job … It is simply theirs to do… Get on with it then is my take..

    The clock for that unit is moving on..

    Jumping up and down is not going to accomplish anything…

    The world's gov'ts and official bodies have turned their backs on Japan from the beginning IMO (Yeah, there has been the odd backdoor or implied offer here and there) But, in the main, other gov't entities have chosen to ignore this problem – FACT!

    Who is Japan supposed to hand this off too anyway??? I don't see a queue forming anywhere…

    Who is going to do it instead of TEPCO… Haliburton – who couldn't keep shit out of drinking water in Iraq or pour proper concrete in the Gulf?

    It time to give it a shot before an earthquake or something else drops this thing into a pile of burning horror…

    Just do it … Good luck… Ganbatte kudasai!!!


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  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

    I think it's a ruse..off to drink coffee.
    SSDD.


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  • PhilipUpNorth

    Here is Arnie's take on SFP4.
    Before removing fuel from SFP4, first remove TEPCO.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Eez5fOVY8g


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    • PhilipUpNorth

      Here is my take on SFP4, for what it's worth:
      TEPCO needed to to SOMETHING to show progress towards the decommissioning of Fukushima.
      Doing actual work, in and around Reactors1,2,&3, is impossible because of the high radiation at those reactors.
      Doing actual work on Reactors1-3 might reveal that the location of the cores is in the ground under the plant.
      Pretending that the cores are safely inside Containments1-3 keeps the public thinking that the cores are:
      Under control,
      In cold shutdown, and are
      Not a danger any longer.
      Admitting that the cores are in the ground would be an admission that, really, nothing at all is being done to mitigate the disaster.
      All TEPCO is doing is hiding the destruction of Japan, and of the Pacific Ocean, from the public.
      But the destruction just keeps going on and on.
      Even construction of the Impermeable Wall has been suspended.
      "Pay no attention to the little man behind the curtain." ;)

      So, sit back, and enjoy the SFP4 show.
      This is all you are going to get.


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      • ftlt

        Philip: Think that is spot on..

        Never any comments/reports on the condition of the storage pools in the other units… Blown up???

        The info scrub has worked..

        Wish, they could do as good a job on site..


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        • PhilipUpNorth

          They are working on SFP4, because it has the lowest rads among Reactors1-4.
          After SFP4 is empty, they will build a similar crane support structure for Reactor Building3.
          Somewhere down the line, SFP1&2 will also be emptied.

          My guess is that in about 2018 (when SFP1-4 have been emptied, TEPCO will conclude that opening up Reactors1-3 isn't a good idea, after all.
          Instead of removing fuel debris as planned, Containments1-3 will be filled with grout, and a Sarcophagus will be built around Reactors1-4.


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  • Speedy

    I have been lurking in the backgroud here for a while, think because not being a scientist or nuclear engineer, I should listen and learn. This site has pushed me to research not only Fukushima but other disasters that we have initiated. My failing health has spurred me to give some input. I personally can't make the decision on what medical insurance is right for me, what doctor might be able to help me, what gun I can own or how many bullets can be in that gun. The list goes on and on…Why can no one with all this power, do something about this disaster in Japan? This will be affecting the health of American's for years. I am ashamed to think that somehow I allowed this to happen. My grand kids will never know the joy of safely playing in the rain, catching snow flakes on their tongues or even experiencing the ocean. When I was young the ocean amazed me. I loved playing in the waves, fishing or just walking and picking up its treasures. They will never never enjoy those feelings…It brings tears to my eyes..
    Here's another lie..
    "If you love your ocean you can keep you ocean"

    My God, what have we done?


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    • ftlt

      Speedy: There are no answers… It is the typical human result is all..


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    • PhilipUpNorth

      Sorry to hear about your health problems, Speedy.
      Children are far more vulnerable to radiation effects than their parents.
      Keep your children out of the rain.
      Have a care what you feed them.
      Take care of yourself, Speedy.
      Suggest you do something else with your time, like hugging a child, or a grandchild, perhaps?
      No good news for you here…


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    • flatsville

      Speedy,

      You can give the NRC what for.

      http://www.nirs.org/radwaste/wasteconfidence.htm

      Clock is ticking here with this case. Public comments close Dec. 20 and it's impossible to say when a decision will take place and what will happen, but the intent is to resume licensing during 2014.

      A two year delay may have been enough to scrap a few plans for re-licensing or new plants….but…

      If the public comments aren't significant we've missed our shot.

      So, comment vociferously.

      We have the NRC and the nuclearists by the short hairs for only a short time.

      (A great deal of time and money on the part of participating AG offices and enviro groups got this case into court to stop the clock. Let's make the most of it.)

      >>Since the summer of 2012, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has been unable to issue licenses for new reactors, nor renewals for existing licenses. A federal court threw out the underpinning of the agency's radioactive waste policy–its "waste confidence" rule. That rule had stated that the NRC was confident that high-level radioactive waste always would be stored or disposed safely, and thus could continue to be generated…<<


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  • pkjn

    Fukushima fiasco: Tokyo Electric's risky removal of radioactive fuel could set off uncontrolled chain reaction; emergency delay invoked
    November 18, 2013 NaturalNews
    All that is required for a runaway nuclear meltdown is for one of the fuel rods to be dropped or accidentally placed too close to other fuel rods.
    Fukushima reactor No. 4 currently has 1300 fuel rods being stored in a leaking pool held 150 feet above ground. There are 6,300 fuel rods in a nearby storage fuel that also need to be moved. In all, Fukushima holds 11,400 fuel rods, any one of which could break and send the entire situation spiraling out of control.
    The idea that Tokyo Electric is going to use robotic cranes to somehow remove all these fuel rods without damaging, breaking or misplacing any of these rods seems almost impossible.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/042952_Fukushima_fuel_rods_inadvertent_criticality.html


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  • PhilipUpNorth

    TEPCO Plan for Removal of Spent Fuel:
    " Main works toward removing spent fuel at Unit 4
    ・ The cover installation for fuel removal is ongoing (to be completed around October). The works for lifting the
    overhanging crane (June 7-14), lifting the Fuel Handling Machine (July 10-13), installing the outside walls of the fuel removal covers and exterior roof panels (April 1 ‒ July 20) and the overhanging crane (September 25) were completed. At present, assembly and installation works are underway (see Figure 8).
    ・ Toward the fuel removal start in November, removal of rubbles inside the pool is underway (from August 27)."
    http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/roadmap/images/d131025_01-e.pdf


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    • PhilipUpNorth

      TEPCO Plan for Spent Fuel Removal:
      " Main works toward removing spent fuel at Unit 3
      ・ Reflecting a phenomenon whereby the top jib mast of the remote control-type large crane and a crack at the root of
      the upper part of the main mast were detected (September 5), work to remove rubbles from the upper part of the Reactor Building was suspended. Later, the crane was dissembled and investigated. Based on the results, it was confirmed that the factor was the loosened junction of the hydraulic pressure hose operating the lock brake for the drum, which rolls up the cable for lifting the top jib mast. After horizontally deploying recurrence prevention measures to remote control-type large cranes applying the same junctions, removal of rubbles will resume in around mid-October. Upon resumption of rubbles removal, toward the installation work of a cover for fuel removal and the Fuel Handling Machine on the operating floor, decontamination and shielding will be performed to reduce the radiation dose, as well as remove large rubbles within the pool. Dust sampling is conducted using other remote control-type large cranes."

      http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/roadmap/images/d131025_01-e.pdf


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      • PhilipUpNorth

        Tepco Plan for Spent Fuel Removal:
        " Main works toward removing spent fuel at Unit 1
        ・ The first step toward fuel removal from the spent fuel pools is to dissemble the cover over the buildings.
        Beforehand, the exhaust system of the building cover was suspended (September 17). In the next step, after a yard for moving large heavy machinery is built and the exhaust system is removed, disassembly of the building cover will begin from around the end of fiscal 2013."
        http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/fukushima-np/roadmap/images/d131025_01-e.pdf


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        • PhilipUpNorth

          TEPCO's plan for removing spent fuel from SFP2 is missing, at least from the TEPCO slideshow document.

          A lot must be lost in translation, is all I can figure.
          The slide show that the above material is from seems to be a fairly rinkydink effort.

          But you just keep up that effort, TEPCO.
          I'm certain that someday, somehow, you will get somewhere, following this here plan. ;)


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  • or-well or-well

    I can't deny there was damage.
    I would if I could
    but all this was mismanaged.
    Had there been more control of the message
    we could have turned this to our advantage,
    praising what survived the tsunami savage;
    giving it what we call 'The Full Rod Adams'.
    We're just too open and progressive.
    Had the new secrets law already been active,
    today we'd be running most of our reactors!


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  • john lh john lh

    Now the time bomb start tika tika, and Jap again fly the paper Kite to fight its enmey….


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