Reuters: Corrosion is weakening Unit No. 4 at Fukushima — Concern quake to ‘topple’ bulging structure — “May have tilted” — Holds 14,000 Hiroshima bombs worth of cesium-137

Wednesday, August 14, 2013
By Paul Martin
August 14th, 2013

Title: Insight: After disaster, the deadliest part of Japan’s nuclear clean-up
Source: Reuters
Author: Aaron Sheldrick and Antoni Slodkowski
Date: Aug 14, 2013

[…] “If you calculate the amount of cesium 137 in the pool, the amount is equivalent to 14,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs,” said Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute. […]

Tepco has shored up the building, which may have tilted and was bulging after the explosion, a source of global concern that has been raised in the U.S. Congress.

The utility says the building can withstand shaking similar to the quake in 2011 […] but the company has a credibility problem. […]

Corrosion from the salt water will have also weakened the building and equipment, [Murray Jennex, an associate professor at San Diego State University who is an expert on nuclear containment and worked at the San Onofre nuclear plant in California] said.

And if an another strong earthquake strikes before the fuel is fully removed that topples the building or punctures the pool and allow the water to drain, a spent fuel fire releasing more radiation than during the initial disaster is possible, threatening about Tokyo 200 kilometers (125 miles) away.

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