Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Nuclear Fuel Removal at Fukushima Daiichi: Necessary but Highly Hazardous

Fuel removal at Fukushima Daiichi has greatly increased visible emission on TEPCO cam 4:


 Feb 27, 2019 comparison, which is pretty typical of the ordinary view from Cam 4 the last year:

The World Nuclear News site provides details on the extraction of fuel in unit 3's pool:
Fuel removal starts at Fukushima Daiichi 3https://www.world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Fuel-removal-starts-at-Fukushima-Daiichi-3
There are 566 highly radioactive fuel assemblies, previously used to generate electricity, stored in the pool of Fukushima Daiichi 3. They will be moved one by one into transfer casks, which will then be lifted from the pool, cleaned and taken to a nearby storage facility. It is normal for this kind of work to be done from a control centre, but in this case the workers will be 1500 metres away in a purpose-built facility.  Tepco will inspect the fuel and flush it clean of any remaining dust and debris before storage in the communal pool. Inspections inside unit 3's pool indicate there is no significant damage to the fuel assemblies.

Several days ago I posted a comment about the radioactive dust produced during the fuel removal process:
Nuclear fuel removed from crippled Japan Fukushima plant. https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/east-asia/article/3006174/nuclear-fuel-removed-crippled-japan-fukushima-plant

[excerpted] Engineers needed time to clear earthquake debris inside the building, while overcoming various other technical challenges, said TEPCO spokeswoman Yuka Matsubara.  “We had to proceed carefully [to remove debris], and we needed to take measures as dust would waft up and increase radiation readings,” she told AFP.

TEPCO has to remove the fuel because the Fukushima Daiichi site is at risk for liquefaction from the water permeating the site, both from groundwater (which TEPCO tries to divert) and from the hundreds of tons that still must be injected daily to cool hot fuel.

The risk of a building collapse at Daiichi is significant and most of the fuel still contained in units 1-3 is too hot and dispersed to extract (TEPCO claims to have cleared unit 4 of fuel). 

Removing fuel is therefore both necessary and dangerous.

It seems to me that people should be a long, long way away from the Daiichi plant unless they are critical for mitigation efforts there.

So, why are people being forced back into their villages in the area by elimination of subsidies for evacuees?

Why are the Olympics being held anywhere near Fukushima?

Linda Sieg, Megumi Lim, Nick Macfie. (September 7, 2016). Abe's Fukushima 'under control' pledge to secure Olympics was a lie: former PM. Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-nuclear-idUSKCN11D0UF

[Excerpted] Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's promise that the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant was "under control" in his successful pitch three years ago for Tokyo to host the 2020 Olympic Games "was a lie", former premier Junichiro Koizumi said on Wednesday.

Daiichi is an atomic WASTELAND that is contaminating the atmosphere, the soil, fresh water, and the Pacific Ocean.

Why are people being moved back and encouraged to visit this wasteland?