First Nuclear Rods Removed from Fukushima

Adam Taggart
By Adam Taggart on Mon, Nov 18, 2013 - 11:30am

From Bloomberg (h/t thc0655):

Tepco Successfully Removes First Nuclear Fuel Rods at Fukushima

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (9501) successfully removed the first nuclear fuel rods today from a cooling pool at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant, an early milestone in decommissioning the facility amid doubts about whether the rods had been damaged and posed a radiation risk.

The first of the fuel-rod assemblies at the plant’s No. 4 reactor building was transferred from an underwater rack on the fifth floor to a portable cask just before 4 p.m., the utility known as Tepco said in an e-mailed statement.

Tepco planned to remove 22 assemblies from the pool, which contains 1,331 spent fuel assemblies and 202 unused assemblies, by the end of tomorrow, the company said. Crews are beginning with the unused assemblies because they are less fragile, spokesman Yusuke Kunikage said by phone.

Tepco estimates it will take all of 2014 to remove every rod from the pool.

Fingers crossed this extraction goes better than Tepco's emergency efforts in the wake of the tsunami....

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8 Comments

kevinoman0221's picture
kevinoman0221
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 25 2008
Posts: 144
Thank goodness!

I knew they were starting this today, but I did not realize it's going to be a year long process... here's hoping they don't have another major earthquake during an extraction.

jdye51's picture
jdye51
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 157
Just the beginning

Given Tepco's track record, it's hard to have faith in their competence. Something like this has never been attempted before. The world can only hope they don't screw it up. Even if they don't (miracle), there is still the danger from earthquakes and tsunamis. It's a precarious situation. In the meantime, tons of radioactive water keep pouring into the Pacific every day.

One day down, only 364 more to go . . .

And then it's on to the other reactors. Oh, but first they must invent a way to get around the radiation without frying electronics. No problem! And, where are those pesky coriums anyway?

 

Time2help's picture
Time2help
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 9 2011
Posts: 2769
jdye51 wrote: Given Tepco's
jdye51 wrote:

Given Tepco's track record, it's hard to have faith in their competence. Something like this has never been attempted before. The world can only hope they don't screw it up. Even if they don't (miracle), there is still the danger from earthquakes and tsunamis. It's a precarious situation. In the meantime, tons of radioactive water keep pouring into the Pacific every day.

One day down, only 364 more to go . . .

And then it's on to the other reactors. Oh, but first they must invent a way to get around the radiation without frying electronics. No problem! And, where are those pesky coriums anyway?

Two for two today, I'm with jdye51 on this.  Best of luck to us all.

suziegruber's picture
suziegruber
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 3 2008
Posts: 199
Video from Arnie Gundersen re: Assembly Removal

Yes, let's stay positive about this and hope that they have some much needed good luck.

On the other hand Arnie Gundersen has posted a video describing Tepco's difficulties:

http://fairewinds.org/podcast/remove-tepco-removing-fuel

It is anything but positive and I found it informative in understanding the magnitude of the challenges they are facing.

Bankers Slave's picture
Bankers Slave
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 26 2012
Posts: 520
treemagnet's picture
treemagnet
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 13 2011
Posts: 344
If you refer to the manual

you'll find on page 87 of the westinghouse mark IV safety sheet (also taped to each of the building entrances) that "in the event of problems not solved by lying, ineptitude, corruption, and publicity tactics......spray lots of water on it *".  The fine print in the appendix reveals the asterisk means 'then run like hell'.  Postive thoughts ain't gonna do it, this baby's ripe for a troubling headline.  No chance they pull this off, zero.  As bad as it'll be for the northern hemisphere, you folks on the left coast have got some planning to do.  What a mess.

westcoastjan's picture
westcoastjan
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 4 2012
Posts: 561
PM and emergency planning

Treemagnet, your point is well taken.

Living on an island just off the mainland, as I do, requires that much more planning as evacuation options are limited. This is one of the reasons I own some PM. My thinking is that in a SHTF scenario where the entire Island population is chaotically scrambling/competing for seats on limited flights, ferries and boats, a handful of gold coins put into the right hands can quite often move one to the front of the line. Of course paying close attention and being first in line helps as well, but the leverage is, well, leverage.

Time will be of essence - if it happens on a weekend when banks are closed and you have no access to your safety deposit box, your leverage disappears. This also bolsters the rationale for having sufficient cash on hand. When trying to get somewhere in a hurry, money talks, and paves the way for you.

I hope to heck this does not ever develop to the possible scenarios being explored. Knowledge is power. PM are insurance. Both are part of a good game plan. I will continue to hope for a less than catastrophic outcome, but plan to be outta here on short notice.

Jan

suziegruber's picture
suziegruber
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 3 2008
Posts: 199
Tepco Says They Have Begun Removal

http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html

 

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