AFP: M5.7 quake jolts eastern Japan Tuesday morning — Almost 200 miles deep — Expert: The big danger is water suddenly draining from Fukushima Unit 4 pool after quake or dropped cask (PHOTO)
November 19th, 2013
AFP, Nov. 19, 2013 at 6:55a JST: M5.7 earthquake jolts eastern Japan [...] on Tuesday morning, seismologists reported. No tsunami alert was issued. The quake struck at around 4:10 a.m. off the eastern Honshu coastline [...] The tremor struck far down at a depth of 332 kilometers, the USGS added. [...]
AP, Nov. 18, 2013: The rods have remained in a pool of cooling water 30 meters (100 feet) above the ground [...] making them vulnerable to another major earthquake. [...] A crane may drop a cask on the ground.
Radio Free Europe, Nov. 18, 2013: [Mycle Schneider, an independent nuclear consultant said,] “The big danger is that through a further earthquake or any kind of impact, the water in the pool gets drained beyond a level that can’t be topped up. That would lead to the spent fuel overheating and potentially burning.” [...] [Professor Komei Hosokawa, of Kyoto Seika University] and Schneider said the worst thing that could happen during the operation would be a cask being dropped onto the wall of the pool, which would result in a loss of water.
The Guardian, Nov. 18, 2013: [...] experts have warned [...] a sudden loss of coolant water or another earthquake could cause a chain reaction and release huge quantities of radiation into the atmosphere. [...] “After the explosion, one big challenge was to deal with the spent fuel pool because if the water evaporated it would cause a radioactive cloud stretching all the way to Tokyo, which would have to be evacuated,” Yuichi Okamura, deputy manager of the water treatment department at Fukushima Daiichi, told the Guardian on Monday.
NHK, Nov. 18, 2013: Fukushima resident: What I am most anxious about is — What will happen if the removal operation fails in some catastrophic way?