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Fukushima plant readies for delicate fuel rod removal

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posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 07:10 PM

Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) is expected this month to begin removing fuel rods from a pool inside a reactor building at the tsunami-hit plant after months of setbacks and glitches.

Experts say the operation is a challenging but essential step in the decades-long decommissioning after the worst atomic accident in a generation.

Fukushima plant readies for delicate fuel rod removal

Some may have been holding their breath since September when they installed the crane for this most precarious task. The actual chore of 'fixing' this problem has been a long time coming. Fukushima's is perhaps the most under-estimated crisis in Japanese nuclear history, it is still leeching radioactivity into the waters of the Pacific even today.

The unavoidable "first step" to resolving the crisis is looming in TEPCO's near future (assuming the promise of this month is solid.) But there is much to consider - if you are inclined to worry about as I am.

There are 1,500 nuclear fuel assemblies (15 foot long 660 pound clusters of fuel rods) to be removed by a crane that will dip it's grabber into the holding pool ... all while keeping them cooled ...

...The 4.5-metre (15-foot) bundles, weighing 300 kilogrammes (660 pounds), have to be kept in water throughout the operation to keep them cool.

"If, for some reason, the water levels dropped, the fuel would quickly heat up," said Takashi Hara, a TEPCO employee in charge of fuel removal....

Presumably, they will hose down the rods as they emerge from the pool until they are placed in the temporary containers (I dislike the connotation that 'casket' conveys.) The the rods will be placed into a submerged holding 'casket' which will then be moved by truck to another storage pool (Does anyone else see the irony this 'solution?')

I understand that this "first big step to decommissioning" requires the rods gone; but I suspect that simply populating yet another holding tank with these radioactive materials is not really addressing the true issue of nuclear waste. I imagine the specifics are something that Big Energy and their media pals never quite get around to sharing with the public.

At any rate, I hope everything goes well and without a hitch. For all our sakes.

edit on 7-11-2013 by Maxmars because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 09:15 PM
how can they possibly hope to pull this off? a crane and trucks??? are you kidding? this isnt a load of lumber. i just cannot fathom how this can be accomplished. wont the workers and the equipment be sustaining exceptionally and ridiculously massive amounts of deadly radiation the entire time at that range? and if they drop even one, how do you pick it up? suicide mission!

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 09:20 PM
I just don't see this going well. I hope I'm wrong, but I just don't.

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:03 PM
reply to post by Urantia1111

The crane, at least, is remotely controlled. I feel kind of sorry for the guys who had to install it.

I suppose it wouldn't be too much to operate the transport vehicle remotely too..., but I never saw anything to that effect in the article.

This is truly a horrible circumstance to have to endure. I wonder how many of these employees will suffer consequences for being diligent and attentive to their managers lead... and whether TEPCO will estimate that when compensating them for their future misery.

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:05 PM
reply to post by captaintyinknots

I sort of got the same vibe from this bit of news myself.

I hope nothing goes wrong..., but if it does, its a short step to it going very wrong for large portion of the biosphere.

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:41 PM
The Rods get moved into the Casket under Water, not above!

Edit: Source for the Video:
Tepco Video
edit on 7-11-2013 by Human0815 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:44 PM
reply to post by Maxmars

I am not sure if this actually relates, but I saw something about this a little while ago. They had on the news issue with People assessing the damage and the strange thing was that the People had uniforms on with the logo on them WAKEFIELD and I thought that was really odd especially as the logo were in English.

Maybe they are using English speaking People to help with the situation?

Either way, hope it all goes well. Rather frightening situation.

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:45 PM
reply to post by Thurisaz

Maybe the Press?

posted on Nov, 7 2013 @ 10:47 PM
reply to post by Human0815

na they were all geared up and working on something.

2nd line

posted on Nov, 9 2013 @ 05:45 AM
Thread on this is already here:

and here:

The last one was started first.

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