As it was announced this week that TEPCO were due to start removing spent fuel rods from the spent fuel pool in the No. 4 unit reactor, the news also emerged that a large number of damaged rod assemblies were not only present in the No. 1 unit reactor, but had actually been damaged prior to the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami.
The news was broken on the regional Kahoku Shimpo site, but has drawn attention from across the web, becoming the most linked to article on internet monitoring site Ceron.jp over the weekend.
70 Fuel Rod Assemblies At Fukushima Dai-ichi Plant No. 1 Unit Reactor Were Damaged Before The Earthquake — 1/4 Of Total
On November 15, it was discovered that 70 fuel rod assemblies which are in the spent fuel pool at the No.1 unit of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant had been damaged prior to the Tohoku Earthquake. This equates to one quarter of the 292 fuel rod assemblies that are being stored in the spent fuel pool. The technique for removing the damaged rods is not yet fully established, and there is apprehension regarding the effect this will have on the decommissioning of the plant and the planned removal of the rods from the No.1 unit due to begin in 2017.
TEPCO did not publish the facts until November 15. The company also explained that “Information was being relayed to the country as needed”.
According to TEPCO, due to a series of troubles such as small holes opening in the rods and leakage of radioactive substances, the 70 fuel rod assemblies were removed from the reactor and placed for safekeeping in the spent fuel pool.
In the No.4 unit, from which the fuel rods are due to start being removed on November 18, there are 3 damaged fuel rod assemblies, and TEPCO have postponed handling them due to the fact that conventional removal would be difficult.
Aside from the damaged rod assemblies in the spent fuel pools of units no. 1 and 4, there are 3 damaged rod assemblies in the pool of no.2 unit, and four in the number 3 unit, making a total of 80 rod assemblies. TEPCO are investigating measures such as creating new custom-made transportation casks for the assemblies.
Regarding the reason why the damaged fuel rod assemblies are concentrated in the No. 1 unit, TEPCO explained that “The No.1 unit is the oldest reactor unit the company has, and when the fuel rods were manufactured, we had heard that there were issues with quality control, and many of the rods were of an inferior quality. Since the No. 2 reactor was built, the fuel rods have improved, as has their quality”.
The No. 1 reactor unit was TEPCO’s first reactor and began operating commercially in March 1971.
Comments from Twitter:
This is the worst ::
Yeah yeah, it’s all under control.
It’s in the same state as the Monju nuclear plant.
Can’t believe they said nothing about the fact that 70 rods had been damaged “before” the earthquake until now…
So at first there were three damaged rods in the spent fuel pool at the no. 4 unit, but now all of a sudden there are three assemblies that are damaged. One assembly contains 81 rods, so it seems that there are actually 243 damaged rods. Can they really do that with cranes? They really need to monitor that.
So that means they’ve been sunk in that pool for the whole time (about 20 years?) since they knew they were broken. I wonder if the radioactivity level of the water circulating in there was ok? Including the No. 4 unit, there are so many weird things about this.
And this is a situation that they claim is safe. What are they going to say next? “Oh, it’s been leaking radioactivity since before the earthquake too”?
Hang on a sec. They were damaged since before the earthquake?
They were damaged before the earthquake…? What kind of situation were they in back then, I wonder?
So they’d been deceiving us all this time.
Since before the earthquake (￣▽￣;)
Comments from 2ch.net:
I never imagined such an awful thing…
This is a total fuck up.
Didn’t know…fuck off and die TEPCO.
And they’re still talking about bonuses?
If they had made this news public before the earthquake, then it would have been a massive problem.
After the earthquake, it kinda feels like this news isn’t such a big deal…
At the end of the day, the question is, is it only here where there are damaged fuel assemblies?
I get the impression that there will obviously be others that are crumbling.
It’s all coming out now. Die.
If this had come out before the earthquake, it would have been enough to make their shareholders have death fits.
So they’d be hiding it until today, huh? Those shits.