TEPCO Admits Fukushima Fuel Rods Damaged Prior To Earthquake

Spent fuel rod assemblies at Fukushima damaged prior to earthquake

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.

From KolNet:

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?

Nuclear Macho:

So they’d been deceiving us all this time.


Frightening news.


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.

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  • Boris

    Japan need to get some independent group in to take over from the incompetent and/or corrupt TEPCO. This shit is playing with people’s lives and future lives here.

    • markus peg


    • linette lee

      The japanese gov’t and tepco people should eat the fishes in Fukushima. They should move and live over there. This way they will be more convincing to the world they have everything under control. We want to see that for reassurance.

      • Rutim

        You should go live in Chinese pollution for our reassurance. But I have a feeling you already have judging from your intelligence.

        • linette lee

          my intelligence? You have selective amnesia. You’ve been eating fishes and produce from Japan?

          • Boris

            Fukushima is fucked. People know it despite what the government says. Chinese food is generally fucked too. You don’t know what you are eating could give you disease or be healthy (or as healthy as it gets in China). So really, you’re both fuckwits bickering over semantics.

          • linette lee

            hahahaha..lol you married to a fukwit. So you are fxcked.

          • linette lee

            well regarding to food in China, China can just improve and tighten food inspection. They can enforce it better to correct that. And China gov’t won’t bother to cover up. You will see on the Chinese internet spreading all over if they have poison foods on the market….THEN… the china gov’t will do recall. China gov’t only take action when it’s on the internet because they want to save face.

        • Comebackkid13

          Rutim, way to show your lack of communication skills again…I don’t think you have ever written something that makes sense or has had any information to back you up.

        • Rutim86


        • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

          So I can live in China where pollution will slowly erode my health away, or live near Fukushima in total oblivion to the potential radiation poisoning that can kill me much faster and much more painfully.
          Oh the decisions…


    • Guest23

      Well, still a bit surprised they can be critical of TEPCO, but surprisingly enough want Yamamoto to resign or kill himself despite this new information that they have bigger fish to fry.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    I’d make a joke about Mr. Burns from the Simpsons running TEPCO, but that’d be too easy…

    • Mighty曹

      I still want to hear it.

  • Nayard

    Japan quality myth.

    • Rutim

      It’s not a myth, Nayard. Japan is the world supplier for high tech manufacturing such as purified semi conductor grade ingots. Only Japan can make these parts, and shitty Chinese and Korean products would not exist without them.

      • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

        Yes, they are the picture of quality.

        Just look at those quality damaged rods that were not reported by the quality staff.

        • chucky3176


      • Comebackkid13

        Rutim, yes all those world supplier ramblings again. This argument is so weak and lame. Where are the employment numbers for this “bustling” industry. If its so great, why aren’t they posting ANY profits like Samsung or Apple, Ford, etc…

    • chris

      you cant equate the quality of Japanese food products, electronics, though lagging behind, and automobiles (what consumers generally attribute the image of quality with), with a nuclear plant built in the 60’s.

      not trying to defend the shitty maintenance and the utter disgusting handling of the situation by TEPCO, or what Rutim is saying cause he’s crazy, but Japanese products and an old, nuclear plant made by GM cannot fit under the same category. no one but Rutim is claiming Japan makes the most advanced and high-quality nuclear power plants

      • Claude

        Sadly, that N plant was slated for closing within weeks after the disaster.

        I’ve lived in Japan for 10 years. Goods and services are outstanding. This accident is one of the strange contradictions of life in Japan. Politically third world, second world housing while still managing to be developed with a high standard of living. Even with it’s problems including 2 decades of economic stagnation, Japan is still a very pleasant place to be. I read the paper and WTF-it now and then look around and then say to my self “It’s really not that bad, how can this be? It should be a shambles.”

        I don’t know what else to say.

  • Comebackkid13

    Finally, a post I can get behind! Besu, if you’re out there, I’ll take this as a rebuttal to all my ramblings about the apathetic and cowering Japanese populace!

    • linette lee

      The olympic is more important to the Japanese. FUK U shima can wait.

    • besudesu

      Haha. I did recall your earlier comment — perhaps the Internet was eavesdropping, and finally decided to do something about it! Actually, this was by far the most talked about thing this weekend, which is quite unusual. It’s usually something about football or a dancing animal.

    • chris

      tweet tweet!

  • justmega

    I’m surprised they didn’t blame the Koreans. And no Chucky that’s not an invitation for you to chime in.

    • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

      No, that’s more up Rutim’s alley.

      • Ray

        Maybe they are one of the same?

        • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

          Not really. Rutim turns a blind eye to problems where chucky looks for problems where there aren’t any.

          • Comebackkid13

            As Rutim says, this doesn’t matter if we “ALL HAIL THE EMPEROR”…

    • chris

      justmega, only i can call out Chucky on his ignorance!

      with that said, you sound stupider than he does!

  • chucky3176

    Japanese-Canadian scientist, David Suzuki, on TEPCO and the 95% odd of another earthquake of 7 or above in the Fukushima area, could cause the fourth nuclear plant to collapse, taking all of Japan with it, and west coast of North America will need to be evacuated. His comment begins at 2:00 minute mark.


    If there hasn’t been a case where an entire country is in utter denial to beautify their international image with white washed false information, but they not only end up hurting themselves, but also the world, this case is it.

    Really, what should be happening is the UN should take charge, and demand the secretive Japanese to let international experts into Japan, to take charge of the cleanup, free from all Japanese intervention, restrictions on movements, and access to information.

    Leaving this clean up to TEPCO is not only a big mistake, but it’s also a criminal negligence.

  • Where are the Yamamoto haters now?

  • Mighty曹

    Everything is under control. Until Godzilla appears.

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