The News That Matters about the Nuclear Industry Fukushima Chernobyl Mayak Three Mile Island Atomic Testing Radiation Isotope

TEPCO visually confirms melted nuclear fuel at Fukushima plant

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN, March 31, 2023 , This article was written by Keitaro Fukuchi, Ryo Sasaki and Takuro Yamano.

A robotic study provided the first visual confirmation that melted nuclear fuel broke through a pressure vessel at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, the government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. said March 30.

Images taken by the robot under the No. 1 reactor at the plant also confirmed heavy damage to a concrete “pedestal” under the pressure vessel.

The inspection by the robot started on March 29. It was the first such study at the No. 1 reactor, one of the three reactors that melted down at the plant following the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

More than 90 percent of the nuclear fuel at the No. 1 reactor is believed to have fallen from the pressure vessel.

The robot found a large amount of melted fuel debris under the pressure vessel.

……………. TEPCO still faces the difficult challenge of how to remove the fuel debris and how to protect the damaged pedestal from future earthquakes.

The meltdown at the No. 1 reactor is believed to be worse than those at the No. 2 and No. 3 reactors at the plant.

The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning estimates the No. 1 reactor building contains 279 tons of melted fuel debris.

Naoyuki Takaki, a professor of nuclear safety engineering at Tokyo City University, said the fuel debris “cannot be taken out unless it is broken down into small pieces.”

Takaki said the method for cutting up such chunks will depend on the ratio and hardness of metal mixed in with the melted fuel.

But the information on objects within the fuel debris is limited so far.

“To put it briefly, it is unknown,” Takaki said.

The No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 reactors at the Fukushima plant contain an estimated total of 880 tons of melted fuel debris.

TEPCO officials aim to start removal work of the fuel debris at the No. 2 reactor in the latter half of fiscal 2023. The initial plan is to take out a few grams, analyze their elements and hardness, and then increase the amount to be removed.

No timetable is set for such work at the No. 1 and No. 3 reactors.

The damaged pedestal has raised concerns that an earthquake could knock down the structure…………………………….more

April 2, 2023 - Posted by | Fukushima continuing, wastes

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: