Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

New radiation problem at Fukushima’s No 4 reactor

Tokyo Electric Power Co. was unsure whether the surge in radiation was being caused by the spent fuel rods or radioactive material leaking from the reactor’s pressure vessel…….

Radiation surges above 4’s fuel pool The Japan TimesOnline By KANAKO TAKAHARA STAFF WRITER, 14 April 11,Radiation has risen to high levels above the spent-fuel pool at reactor No. 4 and its temperature is rising, the nuclear safety agency said Wednesday, indicating the fuel rods have been further damaged and are emitting radioactive substances.

The radiation level 6 meters above the spent-fuel storage pool at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant was measured at 84 millisieverts per hour Tuesday. Normally, it’s 0.1 microsievert.

The temperature of the pool was 90 degrees, compared with 84 before it caught fire on March 15 in a suspected hydrogen explosion, the agency said.

“It’s quite an amount,” figured Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman for the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. was unsure whether the surge in radiation was being caused by the spent fuel rods or radioactive material leaking from the reactor’s pressure vessel…….

Tepco said it is planning to move the spent fuel rods out of the storage pools at reactors 1 through 4 so they can be moved to a safer location, although details on when and how haven’t been decided yet.

Some of the options Tepco is considering include pulling the rods out with a crane or building a special structure nearby to pull them out.

But these tasks will be tough because the site is so radioactive and cluttered with debris from last month’s hydrogen explosions. Meanwhile, the water level of radiation-contaminated water in the tunnel-like trench at Unit 2 dropped by 4.3 cm Wednesday morning after Tepco started pumping lethally radioactive water from its flooded turbine room into a nearby storage facility the day before……

Separately, Tepco said the fuel rods in the Unit 4 pool had released cesium-134 and -137 in the process of being damaged. Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years. “Contaminated water leaked From the Unit 2 may have gathered as a lump and drifted offshore,” Nishiyama said. “We need to continue monitoring it.”

Massive amounts of water have been poured into the reactors and the spent-fuel pools as a stopgap measure to cool them down and prevent them from burning. But pools of highly contaminated water have been detected in various parts of the nuclear complex, with some of it leaking into the Pacific, as an apparent side effect of the emergency measure….

Radiation surges above 4’s fuel pool | The Japan Times Online

 

April 14, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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