Fukushima fiasco: Tepco’s risky removal of radioactive fuel could set off uncontrolled chain reaction; emergency delay invoked
by Mike Adams
Monday, November 18, 2013
The Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced it is delaying the relocation of fuel rods from its crippled plant reactors. Work was originally scheduled to begin today due to the fact that fuel rods remain highly vulnerable in the damaged storage pools. Right now, Fukushima is just one earthquake or tidal wave away from structural collapse, causing a catastrophic release of radioactive fuel directly into the atmosphere.
Moving the fuel rods a wildly risky proposition, as the fuel rods must be extricated from their operating matrix containing coolant water and control rods that “smother” runaway nuclear reactions. Absent these safeguards, the removal and transport of fuel rods is inherently hazardous.
“New video footage from a robot has revealed new leaks within the damaged reactors meaning the rods now can’t be taken out as planned,” reports Euronews. “One of the fuel assemblies was damaged as far back as 1982 when it was mishandled during a transfer and is bent out of shape.”
Euronews goes on to quote Kazuaki Matsui, the executive director of Japan’s Institute of Applied Energy as saying “It’s very difficult to remove a spent rod because parts of the wall and the bottom of the reactor are all melted. We’ve never had to deal with this before so that adds to the complication.”