Warning from Japan’s Top Nuclear Official: I am “much more worried” about fuel in Fukushima Unit 4 — Rods may break open and release highly radioactive material — Beware risks from debris, a disaster if damaged — Removal may start Nov. 8

Published: October 30th, 2013 at 7:04 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
55 comments


Associated Press, Oct.  30, 2013: Japanese regulators on Wednesday gave final approval for the removal of fuel rods [to] start in November [...] About 200 of the rods that are unused and safer are expected to be the first [...] Nuclear regulatory chairman Shunichi Tanaka, however, warned that removing the fuel rods from Unit 4 would be difficult because of the risk posed by debris that fell into the pool during the explosions. “It’s a totally different operation than removing normal fuel rods from a spent fuel pool,” Tanaka said at a regular news conference. “They need to be handled extremely carefully and closely monitored. You should never rush or force them out, or they may break.” He said it would be a disaster if fuel rods are pulled forcibly and are damaged or break open when dropped from the pool, located about 30 meters (100 feet) above ground, releasing highly radioactive material. “I’m much more worried about this than contaminated water,” Tanaka said. [...]

Channel 4 (UK), Oct. 15, 2013: The worst case scenario is if the fuel assemblies are dropped, which could ultimately lead to a partial meltdown [...]

VoA News, Oct. 15, 2013: That hydrogen explosion [...] left the inside of the pool littered with debris. [...] TEPCO’s first task is to remove the debris. [...]  The fuel rods must be kept submerged and must not touch each other or break. Nuclear experts warn any mishaps could cause an explosion many times worse than in March 2011.

NHK WORLD, Oct 30, 2013: [...] The firm hopes to begin the removal at the facility’s Number 4 reactor on November 8th. Tokyo Electric plans to check whether the rods are damaged by debris that fell into the pool in March 2011, and to ensure that they do not get caught in the debris during the removal process. [...]

See also: "Nothing like this has ever been attempted" -- Yale Professor: "All of humanity will be threatened for 1000s of years" if rods in Unit 4 pool touch and have nuclear reaction during removal process -- Tepco: "Not clear" if fuel is already damaged

Published: October 30th, 2013 at 7:04 am ET
By
Email Article Email Article
55 comments

Related Posts

  1. UK Newspaper: Multiple sets of fuel rods at Unit 4 reportedly damaged AFTER disaster; Explosions to blame? — AP: “Assemblies and their handles may have been damaged when big pieces of debris fell” November 18, 2013
  2. BBC: ‘Extraordinary danger’ in removing fuel from Fukushima Unit 4 — Fear that rods are damaged — Officials: “We’re not sure if they’re damaged – you never know”; Concern over “release of radiation” (VIDEO) November 6, 2013
  3. 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
  4. “Nothing like this has ever been attempted” — Yale Professor: “All of humanity will be threatened for 1000s of years” if rods in Unit 4 pool touch and have nuclear reaction during removal process — Tepco: “Not clear” if fuel is already damaged October 27, 2013
  5. Kyodo: Melted fuel from Fukushima Reactor 3 “is the highly lethal mixed uranium-plutonium oxide (MOX)” — Unit to be last to attempt fuel removal says new plan June 27, 2013

55 comments to Warning from Japan’s Top Nuclear Official: I am “much more worried” about fuel in Fukushima Unit 4 — Rods may break open and release highly radioactive material — Beware risks from debris, a disaster if damaged — Removal may start Nov. 8

  • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

    What the article says Tanaka is saying:

    "He said it would be a disaster if fuel rods are pulled forcibly and are damaged or break open when dropped from the pool, located about 30 meters (100 feet) above ground, releasing highly radioactive material."

    What is Tanaka really saying:

    "He said it would be a disaster if fuel rods…break open when dropped…releasing highly radioactive material."

    Haven't we already had SFP4 on fire repeatedly? So we KNOW some of the fuel is in bad shape, and that the fuel assemblies WILL break apart and spill the fuel pellets inside, when they are handled. Just in time for Christmas! ;)

    (They will begin by removing the new "unused" MOX fuel load.)


    Report comment

  • hatrick penry

    That wonderful propaganda! So scrumptiously crunchable! Mmmmmm, Mmmmm good!

    Now for the other side of the story (reality):

    Fear and Loathing on Fukushima Unit 4: http://hatrickpenryunbound.com/?p=3928

    Debunking ‘Alternative’ media disinformation on Fukushima Unit 4 Spent Fuel Pool:
    http://hatrickpenryunbound.com/?p=3876

    AND yes, there was a "Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Drill" being conducted by the NRC, NARAC, FEMA and Japanese "utility execs" ON THE SAME DATE AND AT THE SAME TIME AS THE FUKUSHIMA EVENT!!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydAj1pT7upk

    Find me on FaceBook, YouTube and at hatrickpenryunbound.com

    My book is near completion and will soon be available in pdf format where you can negotiate the work by page number….thank you for your patience in this matter~HP


    Report comment

    • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

      Good research, Hatrick. Many thanks for your hard work. :)

      I have often warned ENEnews readers that fears were falsely being raised by TEP.gov about SFP4, in order to deflect the public's attention away from the three melt-throughs.

      Clearly, SFP4 has already been dewatered and burned. The "worst case scenerio" has already occurred. Readings at the front gate went down as soon as sea water fully covered the fuel assemblies in SFP4. (There was no "skyshine", as a result of those fires. And workers were not driven away from the FDNPP.)


      Report comment

    • We Not They Finally

      hp, but that is EXACTLY like 9-1-1, when there was an Air Force drill simulating what was actually about to happen. Conducted by none other than Dick Cheney. According to Yoichi Shimatsu, it was also the Cheney cabal who helped Shinzo Abe (he was P.M. before) get MOX fuel illegally into Japan.

      Scary is always bad enough. Evil is a touch worse.

      If your info is correct (we'll check out the link you gave), Fukushima was technically "false flag." Except that at least the 9-1-1 false flag was blamed on other humans — Al Queada. The false flag at Fukushima was put onto GOD? ("natural event") It's a true devil's workshop out there…


      Report comment

      • We Not They Finally

        hatrick, EXCELLENT video. There was just something that you glossed over (probably from unfamiliarity) that might be important:

        One of the NRC documents mentioned "Dominion." Is that THE "Dominion"? You know, the ultra-far-right so-called "Christian" masterplan for the world? Eric Prince? (formerly) Blackwater? If they are officially part of the NRC now, it's VERY bad news. I don't know what else "Dominion" might refer to.

        Also, you ALWAYS need to take care — have other people around watching out for you. It looks like (well, on the surface — this just happened) Michael Collins (anti-nuke activist — enviroreporter.com) and his wife may have been "disappeared." He signed-off by e-mail from the Jeff Rense Show, a program which he always did ENTHUSIASTICALLY on Monday nights. He could not have even composed that e-mail — it was totally a-typical. And now he apparently can't be reached. We're disturbed and watching closely.


        Report comment

  • or-well

    AP & VoA both confuse rods with assemblies.
    By the way, is it even physically possible to remove a SINGLE fuel rod from an assembly in a rack in a pool?


    Report comment

  • robu

    Oh my. My biggest fear is not "if the fuel assemblies are dropped, which could ultimately lead to a partial meltdown" but is instead that nothing is done soon and the building and pool collapse which would guarantee a much worse fate…


    Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Hatrick, great research and you are exposing some very ugly scenarios indeed and I would be very careful my friend. The Zeitgeist Matrix is now a very powerful intertwined entity these days rambling uncontrollably around the world stage. The drill finding coincides with many other like planned tragic events that have happened in the recent past.

    It would appear the joke is on mankind in general that/whom actually funds such practiced deceit at all levels and yes spooky times for all appear to be straight ahead.


    Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    This president tried to warn the public!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m–SV31De08

    He was then exterminated/eliminated shortly after this speech!

    Look where we are all at now with 17 trillion stolen and more money being stolen everyday!

    We are all now in very serious trouble… :(


    Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    Look what happened to the gold Dinar plan in Libya.
    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=dinar+libya&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8#q=dinar+gold+plan+libya&rls=en

    The Devil carries a big, no huge, flaming stick these days!


    Report comment

  • mairs mairs

    Help! The farmer and his horses story is on HP, but they didn't include that they're dead and dying. The industry posters are using it as a success story. I can't believe that it's being used as a story of hopefulness that everything will be ok. How dare they not tell the entire story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Report comment

  • enoughalready45 enoughalready45

    I posted this under another article the other day but think it was lost in the mix. Just want people to know this is going on too.

    Zion, Illinois USA
    Also happening in November is the start of the transfer of 1,010 tons of irradiated fuel rods into dry cask storage from the now shutdown Zion nuclear facility that sits on the shoreline of Lake Michigan just north of Chicago. Some of the fuel rods were damage and were repaired but have to be stored in special way in the casks because of their damage. (I do not know how they were damaged.)

    There are 6,260,000 people living in the surrounding counties in Illinois and Wisconsin. Those of us that know about the transfers do not believe the NRC is enough of a watchdog on the process and the company performing the transfers which will take two shifts of workers going every day for a year.

    Do we want the waste moved out of the spent fuel pools? Yes, but we are not sure that it is being done in the safest way possible. A real lack of transparency here on safety issues and what the plan is if something goes wrong.


    Report comment

  • obewanspeaks obewanspeaks

    This does not sound good…move away!


    Report comment

  • Usefulbreather

    "The worst case scenario is if the fuel assemblies are dropped, which could ultimately lead to a partial meltdown"

    Can someone explain this statement to me?

    I was under the impression we already had three full meltdowns of the corium fuel cores in three of the reactors. The media keeps reporting how TEPCO can't locate the melting fuel and that it could be eating its way through the Earth's crust very possibly reaching the Mantle and causing a global catastrophe. Have we had a full meltdown? If so, why are they more concerned about a potential partial meltdown instead of the three that have already occurred?


    Report comment

    • weeman

      If four goes critical all the contaminants will go directly into the atmosphere and it is much easier to contaminate the atmosphere that is detrimental to life.? Buying time that is all.


      Report comment

    • It would be a new release, that is all. they already gave up on solving the prior problems.


      Report comment

    • We Not They Finally

      usefulbreather,you're not "under the impression." There WERE three full melt-THROUGHS there, not "ultimately a partial meltdown." Which they are not "concerned about," because they knew that far worse has ALREADY HAPPENED. They just want YOU to be confused. But you don't need to be confused. They are just putting out malignant propaganda to confuse people. You know better.


      Report comment

    • fuganzi

      If the fuel goes through to the mantle, then it is incorporated into molten rock, deep inside the earth, which is already a much higher temperature and pressure, and is quite massive, compared to a few measely hundred tons of burning corium.

      The most damage that affects us, is as this fissioning mass penetrates the bedrock. The reaction byproducts get into the ground water, and contamination seeps out for thousands of years. There is also the possibility that hitting bedrock, or large volumes of underground water could create an explosion, which would send more contamination into the atmosphere.

      It's also possible that if the coriums breach an underground magma chamber, that this would release the pressure, and create a radioactive volcano, and there'd be no way to stop the constant eruptions.

      It seems like these scenarios (underground supercriticality, or volcano) – would have happened by now, if they were going to happen.

      What is more likely (unfortunately) – is the coriums cooled enough to solidify, either at the surface, or down to a few hundred feet, and the continuing fission will be releasing hundreds of tons of byproducts into the groundwater for tens of thousands of years; with no technical way to dig it up or contain it.


      Report comment

      • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

        It will not enter the mantle without disturbance in it's trail.
        This trail..may leave a geological condition..enabling the magma to have easier access to the surface..(commonly called..a volcano).
        I believe..this in turn… no promises that the radiation below will not be involved in the venting.


        Report comment

      • Ruffcut

        But what if the meltdown is diverted from resistance at some levels and gravitates back up to the ocean. The straight down methodology might not be correct. All energy and forces look for the least line of resistance. The ground water is an issue but the ocean would a possible ELE.


        Report comment

        • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose

          The position of the plant on the seashore and the geological disturbance that has already occurred..the fact there is disturbance of the ground water..and an on-going discussion..of a fresh water/ground water subsurface ocean spring…
          Well..it wouldn't need much veering to make open contact with the sea..
          In which I assume… already has…


          Report comment

          • MichaelV MichaelV

            Yes…the dynamics of a molten liquid or fluids undergound is quite different considering paths of least resistance and pressure, etc…

            …and the cores are most likely unrecognizable as such by now, IMHO.


            Report comment

          • PhilipUpNorth PhilipUpNorth

            Right, Heart of the Rose!
            The Pacific Ocean Ecosystem has already been destroyed by the continuous flow of groundwater, in the underground aquifer, a former riverbed. Groundwater continues to flow through the 3 corium lava tubes, as it has over the past 2 1/2 + years. A second source for groundwater contamination has been the nuclear fuel debris that remain in Containment Vessels1-3, which, they insist, still need to be cooled, by pouring in 300 tonnes of water per day. Much of this water pours right through the gigantic holes in the bottoms of Containments1-3, mix with the groundwater, and flow right into the Pacific Ocean. Only a small fraction is captured, and pumped into their leaky tank farm uphill from the nuclear reactor ruins.

            The major portion of the ongoing destruction of the Pacific Ocean Ecosystem has been due to nuclear fuel debris in the Corium Lava Tubes in the Earth below FDNPP, through which flow 1,000 tonnes of groundwater per day. Taken as a whole, these two sources of contamination: 1) the Containments, and 2) the Corium Lava Tubes, are responsible for the ongoing destruction of the Pacific Ocean Ecosystem.

            I am so sorry that I can't make this news any better. :(

            Ps: By "destruction of the Pacific Ocean Ecosystem", I mean the collapse of the adjacent land-based ecosystems in California, Oregon, Washington, Canada, and Alaska as well. And this is just for starters…


            Report comment

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear officials can go to hell.

    Scientists that developed this technology are already there.


    Report comment

  • Shaker1

    Since the removal is going to be more or less a robotic process, it would seem to me that Tepco has done some dilligence and done extensive mapping of the pool, at least at the point at which they are going to begin, and proving and improving that mapping will be an ongoing process. This has to be 3-dimensional, also. Anyone who has any experience with robotic processes would understand that. Personally, I really don't feel that I need to be party to the plan, but the planning process implies that there are pictures and extensive knowledge of what they're undertaking. I would love to see some of those pictures…


    Report comment

  • Wooster

    So the fate of the planet relies on Tepco's competence.

    God help us.


    Report comment

  • Seeker

    The FOIA docs are irrefutable so WHY do so many of the "good guys" not know the rods are gone–Arnie, Helen, Shimastu last Mon at Rense, et al.

    Some hypotheses: Since AJ did not report on the docs (have you ever tried to get something through to him–HP, do you have proof he actually got to read them? Once he said he gets 1000 emails a day), the others never became aware of them? Or…they all fear the Collins outcome (but what good actors they all would have to be). Or….

    Philip Up North, what think you?


    Report comment

  • pinksailmatt pinksailmatt

    Well this statement just SLAYS me…

    "Tokyo Electric plans to check whether the rods are damaged by debris that fell into the pool in March 2011"

    Like they haven't even peeked yet.


    Report comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.