Fukushima News 11/20/13: Atomic Mafia? ; Melted Fuel 12 Inches From Ground; Day 3 of Fuel Removal
Published on Nov 20, 2013
Workers removing nuclear fuel from pool
Workers have begun removing nuclear fuel from a storage pool at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. The procedure is a critical step in the decommissioning of the plant.
The work at the No. 4 reactor building began on Wednesday. Workers are using a crane to lift a container loaded with nuclear fuel out of the pool.
The container, called a “cask,” can carry up to 22 fuel units and weighs 91 tons when fully loaded.
The crane is equipped with double cables and a system to mitigate shaking from earthquakes to prevent the cask from falling. Radioactive material could leak if this happens.
Once the cask is out of the pool, workers will remove radioactive substances from its surface, and transfer it to another storage pool about 100 meters away.
The workers have spent the past 2 days transferring nuclear fuel units into the container. They performed this part of the task inside the pool with an underwater camera. Small pieces of debris that fell into the pool during the 2011 accident have made it hard to see.
Tokyo Electric Power Company aims to complete the transfer of the fuel units at the No. 4 reactor building by the end of next year. The pool has 1,533 fuel units, and 1,331 of them contain highly radioactive spent fuel.
2 more Fukushima reactors to be decommissioned
Tokyo Electric Power Company is planning to decommission the 2 reactors at its Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant that were not seriously damaged in the March 2011 disaster.
TEPCO officials said they will first consult with officials in Fukushima Prefecture and in the towns of Futaba and Okuma. An official decision to decommission the Number 5 and 6 reactors could come next month.
TEPCO is already engaged in work related to decommissioning the 4 other reactors at the plant, which were severely damaged.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged TEPCO in September to decommission the Number 5 and 6 reactors and concentrate on responding to problems caused by the March 2011 nuclear accident.
The utility plans to use facilities at the plant for training workers involved in decommissioning the 4 severely damaged reactors.
IAEA experts to observe decommissioning
The global nuclear watchdog says it will send a team of experts to Japan this month to inspect decommissioning work at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
The International Atomic Energy Agency team will visit from November 25th to December 4th at the request of the Japanese government. The team includes 19 IAEA and international experts.
TEPCO aims to restart Kashiwazaki plant next July
NHK has learned that Tokyo Electric Power Company aims to restart some of the reactors at its nuclear plant in central Japan next July.
TEPCO is drawing up a 10-year business plan. Restarting the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture will help to revive the firm’s business after the nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi.
The No.6 and 7 reactors are to undergo safety checks by the government’s Nuclear Regulation Authority as part of the procedures for restarting nuclear plants.
TEPCO has set the target date for next July because the checks will take at least 6 months and the utility needs to negotiate with the plant’s host communities.
AP: Melted Fukushima fuel is 12 inches from entering ground after eating through concrete, says simulation — Study: Molten core suspected of eroding through concrete foundation — Gov’t Expert: We just can’t be sure until actually seeing inside
Drop test of fuel container was conducted 23 years ago with different material from half of the height
Gundersen: Unit 4 pool can turn into a nuclear reactor as they pull rods up — Bloomberg: Like a “self-sustained chain reaction similar to meltdowns” — NHK: Fuel is 1% plutonium (VIDEO)
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AGreenRoad – ExFukushima Worker Exposes Gangsters, Dosimeters, No Record Keeping, More
Published on Nov 23, 2013
http://www.agreenroadproject.org Translation English. Japanese audio cut out. Tomohiko Suzuki, Former Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Worker, Press Conference (with interpreter)