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Operations commenced this week to remove nuclear fuel rods from a storage pool at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, some 16 months after the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl occurred at the Japanese site.
Plant operator TEPCO requested media outlets to refrain from filming the delicate and dangerous operations, but aerial images aired on TV and online showed cranes lifting two of the 1535 fuel units from the No 4 reactor building.
...This process could take years.
...the biggest concern remains the sheer volume of fuel in the storage pools, which, if exposed to the air, would release vast amounts of radiation.
"The amount of caesium-137 in the fuel in the pools is equivalent to 5000 times the amount that was spread by the Hiroshima atomic bomb," says Koide. "The government has said that the amount of radioactivity released by the three affected reactors following [last year's disaster] was 168 times that of Hiroshima, so it is clear that we would be looking at a considerably worse outcome should the [reactor number 4] structure be compromised."
TEPCO, which declined to comment on the latest operations due to their "sensitive" nature, estimates that such operations will commence in December 2013, though Koide believes that is ambitious. "It's a process that carries with it an immense amount of danger," he says.
The first fuel units to be removed are among some 204 that had yet to be used. TEPCO says that these units pose little danger because unused fuel emits low levels of radiation. Operations to remove the 1331 more dangerous used fuel units will not be attempted until a much larger crane has been installed. This will be used to manoeuvre the 100-tonne metal casks that will be required to house the spent fuel units to ensure they are not exposed to the air, says Koide.
Originally posted by Pazuzu67
reply to post by Maxmars
......The dilapidated condition of other existing nuclear power plants in dangerous locations makes it seems inevitable that this type of accident will happen again.
Originally posted by TheMindWar
They probably fly tipped them. After all radiation is good for you.