Removal of Fukushima Fuel Rods Hits a Bump … BEFORE It Even Starts

Tepco’s Negligence In 1982 Makes Removal More Difficult Now

Tepco’s efforts to remove the radioactive fuel rods – already extremely dangerous and difficult – have hit a bump before they’ve even started.

Enenews rounds up the developments here:

Yomiuri Shimbun translated by EXSKF, Nov. 12, 2013: On November 12, TEPCO disclosed that there were three fuel assemblies […] in the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4 […] that were deformed and would be difficult to remove.

Fukushima Minyu translated by EXSKF, Nov. 13, 2013: According to TEPCO, one of the damaged fuel assemblies is bent at a 90-degree angle [literal meaning: bent in the shape of a Japanese character “く”; actual angle could be less]. It was bent 25 years ago when a mistake occurred in handling the fuel. The other two were found to be damaged 10 years ago; there are small holes on the outside from foreign objects.

And here:

Japan Times, Nov. 14, 2013:  Earlier this week, Tepco found three damaged assemblies that will be difficult to remove, but officials said the damage appeared to have occurred before the March 11 disasters.

Reuters, Nov. 14, 2013: One of the assemblies was damaged as far back as 1982, when it was mishandled during a transfer, and is bent out of shape, Tepco said in a brief note at the bottom of an 11-page information sheet in August. In a statement from April 2010, Tepco said it found two other spent fuel racks in the reactor’s cooling pool had what appeared to be wire trapped in them. Rods in those assemblies have pin-hole cracks and are leaking low-level radioactive gases, Tepco spokesman Yoshikazu Nagai told Reuters on Thursday. […] Having to deal with the damaged assemblies is likely to make [removing the other fuel] more difficult […]

Tepco spokeswoman Mayumi Yoshida: “The three fuel assemblies … cannot be transported by cask […] We are currently reviewing how to transport these fuel assemblies to the common spent fuel pool,” she said.

Why didn’t Tepco fix or replace these mangled fuel assemblies decades ago?

Its failure to fix these problems when they happened is now making its attempt to solve the most dangerous crisis since the Cuban missile crisis now even more difficult.

In many other ways, Tepco has been insanely negligent – and engaged in criminal acts – for many decades.

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  • Tonto

    “Why didn’t Tepco fix or replace these mangled fuel assemblies decades ago?”

    Chalk it up to one of the limitations of science and technology, which are suffered due to human nature.

    Here we are dealing with one of the most dangerous substances scientific humanity deals with, and we have clear evidence of human nature limiting a decision to act prudently. It’s like this. The people in charge have a culture of negligence based on their own perception of themselves as being almost god-like, because they deal with such dangerous technologies. And what has prevailed?

    Human nature has prevailed. Lesson learned? Humans cannot be trusted with such dangerous technologies, is the ONLY possible logical conclusion. Why?

    Because it is CATEGORICALLY TRUE, that the moral imperative of life is to live a life that detracts not at all from the lives of those who will follow us into this world. All nuclear technologies are clearly immoral in this paramount sense.

    Anyone raising a stink about this nuclear maintenance negligence BEFORE THE GLOBAL TRAGEDY OF FUKUSHIMA, no doubt, would have been fired. That too is just a result of human nature.

    Scientists ignore human nature in an effort to grasp at the brass ring of fame and fortune.

    Again, this is human nature!

  • gozounlimited

    Science & Technology must not be Asian Islanders strong suit …..

    When avid weather watcher Michael Janitch (aka Dutchsinse) uploaded a video showing that microwave pulses preceded the formation of Typhoon Yolanda-Haiyan before it hit the Philippines, the video went viral, prompting several Filipinos to send it to local news stations asking for an explanation.

    Reputable news sites (Like Washington’s Blog) covered Janitch’s information, which must have really bunched up the tighty whities of military figures, because within days the same news sites called out this ‘conspiracy theorist’ and denied basic physics that microwaves can and do impact weather. (Note: the Typhoon planned and forecasted to hit the Phillipines following Haiyan didn’t materialize….. hmmmm wonder why?)

    The Philippines’ top hazard assessment scientist denies that electromagnetic waves can influence weather or cause earthquakes. Take cover, Filipinos, because the Executive Director of Project NOAH
    (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), Dr. Alfredo Mahar Francisco A. Lagmay, is woefully mistaken or deliberately lying to you.

    On top of the damage caused by Typhoon Yolanda-Haiyan, Filipinos now have other worries, given that the man in charge of assessing hazards for their nation is apparently unaware of, or unwilling to acknowledge, atmospheric science and the long history of planetary weapons.

    Under these conditions, you might want to rethink providing assistance to a country deliberately making themselves vulnerable to further weather warfare attacks due to their own ignorance and denial.

    read more:

  • Randa

    Arne Gunderson clarification of the Fukushima mess:

    I think we need to consider infiltrating the Japanese mafia. Seriously. There is no way the leaders of this international mafia conglomerate leadership of the world are going to do anything. I think they’re batshit crazy. So we need to step over them to get this problem solved.

    There are a slew of nuclear engineers and scientists (i.e. Arne Gunderson) who KNOW how to solve this thing at Fukushima, but are not given voice. Here’s another interesting conversation on C2C:

  • Alex Carson

    So.. the 1500 or more fuel rods will continue to remain situated 10 stories in the air, vulnerable to another earthquake and/or tsunami, for who knows how much longer– the result of which could be the toxic-level irradiation of the entire Northern Hemisphere.

    Meanwhile, most Americans are either unaware of this situation (due to the horrible lack of
    coverage by “mainstream” media), or simply in denial.

    My plan: send Miley Cyrus to Fukushima Daiichi, put her in a radiation suit, and have her poke her foam finger at the fuel rods. It won’t solve the problem, but will be certain to get LOTS of media attention.

  • Antiehypocrite
  • Not sure about this source, but it claims that Stuxnet contributed to the Fukushima meltdown:

    In an even more explosive charge, the journalist says that 20 minutes before the Fukushima plant’s nuclear meltdown, Israel was so upset with Japanese support for a Palestinian declaration of statehood that it double-crossed Japan by unleashing the Stuxnet virus on the plant’s computers.

    You can read the rest here: