Thursday, November 7, 2013

Japan to begin removal of fuel rods from Fukushima plant

TEPCO's plan for moving fuel rods from unit #4 was approved during the week of November 7.

The removal of fuel is part of regular work at any nuclear power plant, but "conditions are different from normal because of the disaster," said company spokeswoman Mayumi Yoshida.

Extraction is expected to begin mid-November.

The article contains some scary statements from Scientists and Activists.  However some of these statements come from people who have a vested interest in making it look more scary than it actually is.  While those statements could be valid, their vested interest has to make us ponder whether their statements are skewed or not.

“Handling spent fuels involves huge risks," said Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority. "It would be a disaster if radioactive materials come out of the metal rods during the work.”

"This is the first practical milestone for the project," said Hiroshi Miyano, a nuclear systems expert and visiting professor at Hosei University in Tokyo.

"Any trouble in this operation will considerably affect the timetable for the entire project," he said to AFP. "This is an operation TEPCO cannot afford to bungle."

Christina Consolo, the founder and host of Nuked Radio ... “The worst-case scenario is that there’s a nuclear chain reaction, a criticality in the pool during this procedure and it can’t be stopped,” she said.

Kevin Kamps, a nuclear waste specialist from the organization Beyond Nuclear, believes it is “absurd” that TEPCO is in charge of this globally significant extraction operation ...
“If something goes wrong this could be a global catastrophe that dwarfs what has happened in Fukushima Daiichi thus far,” Kamps told RT. “Tokyo Electric has shown its true colors time and time again, its incompetence, its dishonesty, so it’s very frightening that TEPCO is in charge of this.”

Arnold Gunderson, a nuclear power expert, explained to RT that what they will attempt to do at Fukushima has never been done before but it has to be done ... “There is more radioactivity in that fuel pool than in all the bombs than in all the bombs that were fired in above ground testing. So we have the equivalent of 700 nuclear bombs worth of material in that fuel pool. These [the fuel rods] are not going to pull out easily and the fear is, is that they might snap and release the radiation that’s inside them,” he told RT.


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