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Within the new structure built over the badly damaged reactor building of unit 4, Tepco has been installing equipment that will allow the transfer of used nuclear fuel for long-term storage elsewhere. Underwater inspections in the pond have shown most of the fuel to be undamaged, but the pond contains a lot of dust and debris which will complicate operations.
The cover is fitted with air filters that will prevent any release of radioactivity as the fuel is moved. Transport containers will be placed in the empty and undamaged reactor vessel and the fuel will be transferred to them underwater using the fuel handling machine. The used fuel will eventually be placed in the site's shared used fuel pool, which was undamaged by the natural disasters two years ago.
reply to post by Human0815
Thank you Human,
BUT... Is that it... Just copy paste and no comment from yourself?
It would have been nice to have heard what you had to say?
The first removal of nuclear fuel rods next month from the stricken Fukushima atomic station should be successful based on findings that the rods -- each about twice the average weight of a sumo wrestler -- appear undamaged from an explosion at the site almost three years ago.
That’s the view of Lake Barrett, a former U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission official appointed last month as an adviser to Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501), the operator of the wrecked Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant.
“There’s no indication based on sampling of the water that the fuel has been damaged in any significant way” according to radiation readings, said Barrett, who led Three Mile Island’s cleanup operations for four years after the 1979 accident at that plant in the U.S. “There’s a high confidence that the defueling of the pool can go in a normal way.”
The operator of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant is making final preparations before starting the most delicate and dangerous procedure attempted at the plant since three reactors were wrecked in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Engineers from Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) need to remove 1,533 rods of highly irradiated spent fuel from the damaged storage pool alongside the Number 4 reactor without exposing them to the air. The rods must then be carefully transported to a safer location for longer-term storage.
The 18-month project is due to start in early November.
Others have made even more strident warnings, including Charles Perrow, a professor emeritus at Yale University.
"Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable," said Perrow.
"The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo," he said. "Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years."
"I would prefer to have had some US companies that are experts on spent fuel decommissioning brought in to assist," said a nuclear energy expert who has been monitoring Tepco's handling of the crisis.
The problem of 400 tonnes of radioactive water leaking from the site every day could be fixed in a matter of days if the company would listen to external experts, he said.
"The issues are not primarily technological, they are political," he added.