WSJ speculates: “Is process of emptying the Unit 4 pool starting?” — Will Tepco continue taking out more racks? — Law forbids disclosing when nuclear fuel is moved

Published: July 19th, 2012 at 7:56 am ET


Title: 2nd unused nuclear fuel assembly taken from Fukushima plant
Source: Kyodo
Date: July 19,2012

Tokyo Electric Power Co. took out an unused nuclear fuel assembly from a spent fuel pool at the No. 4 reactor of its Fukushima Daiichi power plant Thursday, after removing another fuel assembly Wednesday, sources close to the matter said.

The operation came as the utility examines the extent of damage to the stored fuel before starting the full removal of fuel assemblies at the plant in December 2013.


Title: Signs of Progress at Fukushima Daiichi’s Unit 4 Spent-Fuel Pool
Source: Wall St. Journal, Japan Real Time
Author: By Phred Dvorak
Date: July 19, 2012, 3:34 AM JST

Japanese TV aired footage Wednesday of white-garbed workers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor using a big red crane to remove what the broadcasters said was a fuel rack from the spent-fuel pool of reactor No. 4.


So is the process of emptying the Unit 4 pool starting?

Tokyo Electric Power Co., operator of Fukushima Daiichi, won’t say, citing a law that forbids disclosing information about when or where nuclear fuel is being transported.


The problem is that removing racks one at a time, with a big crane, is slow. Tepco is building a special cover on top of the spent-fuel pool to help speed things along. And it’s planning eventually to put in place the equipment needed to remove the spent fuel rods as well.

Slow or not, is Tepco going to continue taking out more fuel racks after the first two are out? Tepco’s spokesman wouldn’t say.

Published: July 19th, 2012 at 7:56 am ET


Related Posts

  1. Japan Diplomat: Concern fuel rods in Unit 4 pool are damaged — “Have they moved”? — Transfer process could go on for decades, not months October 22, 2013
  2. Nuclear Industry Report: ‘Reduced stability’ of fuel pool in Fukushima Unit 4; Admits there’s damaged fuel inside? — Gundersen: Fuel racks moved and damaged; Fallen debris distorted tops (AUDIO) September 27, 2013
  3. NHK: Fuel removal process underway at Unit 4 (VIDEOS) July 18, 2012
  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. Tepco: Dozen pieces of rubble found in fuel rod assembly removed from Fukushima No. 4 unit August 28, 2012

12 comments to WSJ speculates: “Is process of emptying the Unit 4 pool starting?” — Will Tepco continue taking out more racks? — Law forbids disclosing when nuclear fuel is moved

  • hanaloa hanaloa

    Amazing…now TEPCO is concerned about the law?!

  • PhilipUpNorth philipupnorth

    WSJ is making a common mistake by referring to "rack", when they mean "fuel assembly".
    "Nuclear Fuel" is little black pencil-thin pellets of enriched uranium fuel.
    "Fuel Rod" consists of nuclear fuel encased in a zirconium clading.
    "Fuel Assembly" is a bundle of scores of fuel rods that is easier to handle.
    "Racks" are bolted into spent fuel pools, with channels for multiple fuel assemblies that keep them separated and avoid criticalities.
    But since humanity is in the process of abandoning nuclear power as a bad idea, the WSJ didn't spend a lot of time learning about nuclear fuel before writing the article.

    • bmurr bmurr

      "But since humanity is in the process of abandoning nuclear power as a bad idea"

      Last I read, UAE has announced 2 reactors will be built and online by 2017. They will be built and run by South Korea. This doesn't sounds like abandonment.

      "The Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation (FANR) of the United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday that it had granted the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation a license to construct two nuclear power reactor units at its proposed Barakah site in Abu Dhabi"

      "In December 2009, ENEC announced the appointment of a consortium, led by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) of South Korea, to design, build, and operate 4 nuclear power plants in the UAE.
      The South Korea UAE nuclear deal is worth about $40 billion for construction and operation of 4 commercial nuclear reactors. The first to be built by 2017, and the other three by 2020."

  • Heart of the Rose Heart of the Rose agreement…national security.
    Yes..secrecy must be so much of this material is used for weaponry.
    The public mustn't know it is toted all over the would.
    They mustn't know the full amounts..nor about the waste dumped into our oceans.
    No..They must be left in the world that thinks nuclear production is necessary for electricity and by the pro-nukers tell itself.
    TEPCO has clutched this "nondisclosure law" to their corrupt and cowardly hearts.
    This is not normal transport.
    Where are the materials going?
    The people of Japan and the rest of the world deserve an answer.

  • NoNukes NoNukes

    Nostalgic for the day when killing people was against the law.

  • chrisk9

    I am baffled about this so-called law. I can go online and find which plants are operating and which are not. I can find out what kind of outages any plant is in, and which plants are in refueling outages. I can find out the expected duration of any refueling outage, so I pretty much know exactly when fuel is being moved.

    When I was in the business I never signed any agreement about the secrecy of the refueling schedule. Maybe things have changed, but I doubt it.

    Pure bull in my view. They have polluted our world, have caused health consequences, taken peoples homes, and ruined peoples lives and they still think about nothing but themselves. It is common knowledge that what happens in unit 4 could impact the world, and yet they continue to protect only their corporate interests.

  • TheBigPicture TheBigPicture

    Nuclear plants are ruining our planet. And must be outlawed.

  • dharmasyd dharmasyd

    "Law forbids…" Whatcha talkin bout, Law forbids? How bout God and Nature forbids? Huh?