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Multiple dangers of MOX fuel used in Fukushima’s No 3 nuclear reactor

MOX fuel rods used in Japanese Nuclear Reactor present multiple dangers, DC Bureau By March 15th, 2011 The mixed oxide fuel rods used in the compromised number three reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi complex contain enough plutonium to threaten public health with the possibility of inhalation of airborne plutonium particles. The compromised fuel rods supplied to the Tokyo Electric Company by the French firm AREVA.

Plutonium is at its most dangerous when it is inhaled and gets into the lungs. The effect on the human body is to vastly increase the chance of developing fatal cancers.

Plutonium diabolical

Masashi Goto, a reactor researcher and designer for Toshiba, told the Foreign Correspondents Club in Toyko the mixed oxide (MOX) fuel used in unit 3 of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility uses plutonium, which is “much more toxic than the fuel used in the other reactors.”

Goto said that the MOX also has a lower melting point than the other reactor fuels. The Fukushima facility began using MOX fuel in September 2010, becoming the third plant in Japan to do so, according to MOX supplier AREVA.

Part of the process of making MOX fuel is to grind plutonium into a fine power before it is robotically inserted into fuel rods. Experts agree these tiny plutonium particles once airborne are extremely dangerous to human health. One of the unique characteristics of mixed oxide fuel is that relatively little of the plutonium in the fuel rods is used up in the fuel cycle in a reactor. “When the plutonium in the fuel rods goes into a reactor for commercial power, a very little of it is going to be consumed. I don’t know what percentage, maybe half percentage or something like that, but it’s going to generate an extraordinary amount of contamination throughout the fuel rods…,” says William Lawler, an expert on radioactive waste…….

Mixed oxide fuel is a combination of finely ground up plutonium particles and uranium oxide fabricated into fuel rods at an AREVA subsidiary in La Hague, France.  The fuel is made from reprocessing old reactor fuel. Reprocessing was abandoned by the United States in the 1970s because of the dangers of weapons proliferation.

The CIA has reported that Japan’s nuclear power program was not limited to the peaceful production of electrical power. The program had its roots in a secret weapons program that caused the CIA to conclude as far back as 1964 that Japan could assemble within months a nuclear weapon.

Because of the Japanese public’s fear of nuclear weapons, the various subsequent Japanese governments have kept the program secret and have repeatedly denied its existence when news organizations made inquiries. http://www.dcbureau.org/20110315782/natural-resources-news-service/mox-fuel-rods-used-in-japanese-nuclear-reactor-present-multiple-dangers.html#sthash.NydPfWmn.dpuf

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July 10, 2015 - Posted by | - plutonium, Japan, safety

2 Comments »

  1. Hell of a way to Boil Water “Einstien “

    Comment by Steven L. | April 3, 2016 | Reply

  2. […]  Four of Fukushima’s six reactors have melted into the environment.  Reactor 3 contained MOX fuel (dirty bomb […]

    Pingback by #Fukushima Articles – All About Being Human (award-free zone) | July 22, 2017 | Reply


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