[gha] Fuel Removal From Fukushima's Reactor 4 Threatens 'Apocalyptic' Scenario

  • From: "Michael Ellis" <mindquest@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <peace-from-harmony@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2013 00:12:48 +1100

I deeply respect the wonderful people on this group and the brilliant
efforts for world peace established by Leo Semashko.

The point I wish to make ,is that when our whole human civilisation as we
know it is at tipping point and the whole nature of global society is
changing and with it the old paradigm ,what can we do as a peace harmony
collective to mobilise the world to come to the rescue of Fukushima


Kindest Regards 





From: gha-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:gha-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf
Of Michael Ellis
Sent: Sunday, 27 October 2013 11:51 PM
To: peace-from-harmony@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx; gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [gha] Fuel Removal From Fukushima's Reactor 4 Threatens
'Apocalyptic' Scenario


This is where peace has to be created!! 

It is not in the province of intellectual books or scholarships or lengthy
political   discussions or talking with World Leaders, It has to be grass
roots , The ordinary person has a say in  this! We need to take action now

Suggestions please!



Published on Thursday, October 24, 2013 by  <http://www.commondreams.org/>
Common Dreams

Fuel Removal From Fukushima's Reactor 4 Threatens 'Apocalyptic' Scenario

In November, TEPCO set to begin to remove fuel rods whose radiation matches
the fallout of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs

- Andrea Germanos, staff writer

An operation with potentially "apocalyptic" consequences is expected to
begin in a little over
l-from-fukushima-reactor-4-pool-in-early-november/#.Umk9xySoHUU> two weeks
from now - "as early as November 8" - at Fukushima's
radiation-hiroshima-world-intervene/> damaged and sinkingReactor 4, when
plant operator TEPCO will attempt to remove over 1300 spent fuel rods
holding the radiation equivalent of 14,000 Hiroshima bombs from a spent fuel
storage tank perched on the reactor's upper floor.

e_image/article_images/reactor4.jpgFukushima Reactor 4While the Reactor 4
building itself did not suffer a meltdown, it did suffer a hydrogen
explosion, is now tipping and sinking and has
<http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2012/05/04-0> zero ability to
withstand another seismic event.

The Japan Times

To remove the rods, TEPCO has erected a 273-ton mobile crane above the
building that will be operated remotely from a separate room.

[...] spent fuel rods will be pulled from the racks they are stored in and
inserted one by one into a heavy steel chamber while the assemblies are
still under water. Once the chamber is removed from the pool and lowered to
the ground, it will be transported to another pool in an undamaged building
on the site for storage.

Under normal circumstances, such an operation would take little more than
three months, but TEPCO is hoping to complete the complicated task within
fiscal 2014.

A chorus of voices has been sounding alarm over the
never-been-done-at-this-scale plan to
se-14000-Times-More-Radiation-than-Hiroshima.html> manually remove the 400
tons of spent fuel by TEPCO, who so far has been responsible for mishap
after mishap in the ongoing crisis at the crippled nuclear plant.

Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds
Energy Education,  <http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/08/14-6>
warned this summer that "They are going to have difficulty in removing a
significant number of the rods," and said that "To jump to the conclusion
that it is going to work just fine is quite a leap of logic."  Paul Gunter,
MD, Director of the Reactor Oversight Project with Takoma Park, Md.-based
<http://beyondnuclear.org/> Beyond Nuclear, also sounded alarm on Thursday,
telling Common Dreams in a statement that "Given the uncertainties of the
condition and array of the hundreds of tons of nuclear  fuel assemblies, it
will be a risky round of highly radioactive pickup sticks."  Gundersen
-stuck-long-long-time-audio> offered this analogy of the challenging process
of removing the spent fuel rods:

If you think of a nuclear fuel rack as a pack of cigarettes, if you pull a
cigarette straight up it will come out - but these racks have been
distorted. Now when they go to pull the cigarette straight out, it's going
to likely break and release radioactive cesium and other gases, xenon and
krypton, into the air. I suspect come November, December, January we're
going to hear that the building's been evacuated, they've broke a fuel rod,
the fuel rod is off-gassing. [.]

I suspect we'll have more airborne releases as they try to pull the fuel
out. If they pull too hard, they'll snap the fuel. I think the racks have
been distorted, the fuel has overheated - the pool boiled - and the net
effect is that it's likely some of the fuel will be stuck in there for a
long, long time.

The Japan Times adds:

Removing the fuel rods is a task usually assisted by computers that know
their exact location down to the nearest millimeter. Working virtually blind
in a highly radioactive environment, there is a risk the crane could drop or
damage one of the rods - an accident that would heap even more misery onto
the Tohoku region.

As long-time anti-nuclear activist Harvey Wasserman
<http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/10/01-4> explained, the

Spent fuel rods must be kept cool at all times. If exposed to air, their
zirconium alloy cladding will ignite, the rods will burn and huge quantities
of radiation will be emitted. Should the rods touch each other, or should
they crumble into a big enough pile, an explosion is possible.

"In the worst-case scenario," RT
<http://rt.com/news/fukushima-operation-spent-fuel-618/> adds,

the pool could come crashing to the ground, dumping the rods together into a
pile that could fission and cause an explosion many times worse than in
March 2011.

Wasserman says that the plan is so risky it
<http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/09/20-1> requires a global take-over,
an urging Gunter also shared, stating that the "dangerous task should not be
left to TEPCO but quickly involve the oversight and management of
independent international experts."

Wasserman told Common Dreams that

The bring-down of the fuel rods from Fukushima Unit 4 may be the most
dangerous engineering task ever undertaken.  Every indication is that TEPCO
is completely incapable of doing it safely, or of reliably informing the
global community as to what's actually happening.  There is no reason to
believe the Japanese government could do much better.  This is a job that
should only be undertaken by a dedicated team of the world's very best
scientists and engineers, with access to all the funding that could be

The potential radiation releases in this situation can only be described as
apocalyptic.  The cesium alone would match the fallout of 14,000 Hiroshima
bombs.  If the job is botched, radiation releases could force the evacuation
of all humans from the site, and could cause electronic equipment to fail.
Humankind would be forced to stand helplessly by as billions of curies of
deadly radiation pour into the air and the ocean.   

As dire as Wasserman's warning sounds, it is echoed by fallout researcher
Christina Consolo, who
<http://rt.com/news/fukushima-apocalypse-fuel-removal-598/> told RT that the
worst case scenario could be "a true apocalypse." Gunter's warning was dire
as well.

"Time is of the essence as we remain concerned that another earthquake could
still topple the damaged reactor building and the nuclear waste storage pond
up in its attic," he continued. "This could literally re-ignite the nuclear
accident in the open atmosphere and inflame it into hemispheric
proportions," said Gunter.

Wasserman says that given the gravity of the situation, the eyes of the
world should be upon Fukushima:

This is a question that transcends being anti-nuclear.  The fate of the
earth is at stake here and the whole world must be watching every move at
that site from now on.  With 11,000 fuel rods scattered around the place, as
a ceaseless flow of contaminated water poisoning our oceans, our very
survival is on the line.  


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0



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