Saturday, December 28, 2013

#Fukushima Reactor 4 SFP Fuel Assembly Removal: Cracked Channel Box from 1982

Back in November right before they started removing fuel assemblies from the Spent Fuel Pool of Reactor 4, TEPCO announced (again) that there were three spent fuel assemblies in the pool that had been deformed.

The company released the photos of one of the assemblies on December 27, 2013, whose protective case (channel box) is cracked in several locations. According to the incident report filed with Nucia (Nuclear Information Archive maintained by Japan Nuclear Safety Institute), the incident happened in 1982 when workers not thoroughly familiar with the fuel removal procedure made a series of mistakes.

From TEPCO's photos and videos library (12/27/2013):

A fuel assembly is about 4.5 meters long; of that, the channel box is about 4.2 meters long.

If you care to know what TEPCO has to say about the fuel assembly removal operation in Reactor 4, here's their PDF presentation in English.

One of several workers who have been tweeting from Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant, "Sunny", says:


It's not that TEPCO hid the fuel assembly damage. It's been reported on official sites like Nucia. It just shows how uninterested people were in nuclear power [until the Fukushima accident].


I didn't even know there were 54 nuclear reactors dotting the scenic coastlines in Japan.


Unknown said...

You and me both, much less that they were all over the coastlines, in a noose-like formation around Japan's clueless masses. Maybe now, though, not so clueless. In part to your efforts. Oyoi otoshio!

Anonymous said...

I am under the impression that it is often like Primavera-san says: disasters happen because people make a *series* of mistakes. The *series* word implies that 1) even if a series of safety nets has been planned (redundancies, safety coefficients etc.) 2) people tend to bypass many of them on a regular basis so that when s..t happens consequences are worse than they should be.

Anonymous said...

On top of that, in some cases people suspect they might need an extra safety net (higher walls to get protection from tsunsmis) but they decide that the cost of that safety net is greater than the product of the cost of a disaster (which is high) times tbe chances it will happen (which is expected to be low).
The problem is that when the disaster indeed happens its "chances" shoot to 100% and people pay the full cost.

Vyse Legendaire said...

It has nothing to do with a series of mistakes. The original mistake was accepting nuclear power to begin with. That act itself was the fatal mistake.

Anonymous said...

Nor did we know of the warning stones of the ancestors.

Warning not to build in tsunami areas.

Go & figure.

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