Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan Nuclear: Spent Fuel Containment Pool May Be Open To Atmosphere; Sattellite Images Appear To Show Missing Roof

"...the total amount of long-lived radioactivity in the pool is at least five times that in the reactor core..."

"The spent fuel produced by reactors has been a challenge since the dawn of the nuclear industry, with most reactor operators opting to store it in pools of cooling water on site. At the 40-year-old Fukushima plant, which was built by General Electric, the fuel rods are stored at a pool about three stories up, next to the reactor. Satellite photos raise concerns that the roof of the building housing the pool has been blown off, says Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies and a senior policy adviser to the secretary of energy and deputy assistant secretary for national security and the environment from 1993 to 1999. He and other experts are now warning that any release of radioactivity from the spent-fuel pool could make the releases from the reactors themselves pale in comparison."

"The pools “contain very large concentrations of radioactivity, can catch fire, and are in much more vulnerable buildings,” he warns. If the pools lose their inflow of circulating cooling water, the water in the pools will evaporate. If the level of water drops to five or six feet above the spent fuel, Alvarez calculates, the release of radioactivity “could be life-threatening near the reactor building.” Since the total amount of long-lived radioactivity in the pool is at least five times that in the reactor core, a catastrophic release would mean “all bets are off,” he says."

The Daily Beast - The Japan Nuke Problem No One's Talking About

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OK - my usual motif is to toss a story out and then editorialise on the story. So here's my editorialisation:

"So, how's that nuclear safety workin' for ya?"

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"Moreover, in the spent fuel pools usually situated next to nuclear power plants, there are large numbers of additional fuel rods, used ones, disposed of as waste. There must be constant water circulation in the spent fuel pools. In what is labeled a “loss-of-water’ accident in a spent fuel pool, the zirconium cladding of the fuel rods is projected as exploding—sending into the environment the lethal nuclear poisons in a spent fuel pool……."


nuclear-news
latest news on the uranium/nuclear industry
Technical information on the Fukushima nuclear loss of coolant


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nuclear-news
latest news on the uranium/nuclear industry
Technical information on the Fukushima nuclear loss of coolant

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