Wednesday, May 7, 2014

#Fukushima I NPP: 53% of Fuel Assemblies in Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool Have Been Removed So Far

As of May 7, 2014, 814 fuel assemblies (22 new (unused) assemblies, 792 used fuel assemblies) out of the total 1533 in the Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool have been successfully removed.

Removal of the fuel assemblies in Reactor 4's SFP started on November 18, 2013. At this pace, it will be completed sometime in November this year, as scheduled.

From TEPCO's English page on Reactor 4's SFP fuel assembly removal (which has been updated finally, to my surprise):

This job seems to be about the only one job at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant these days that is carried out without a major glitch or accident, though with a significant radiation exposure to the workers who manipulate the Fuel Handling Machine on the platform above the pool to remove the fuel assemblies. The bulk of radiation comes not from radioactive cesium but cobalt-60 in the water, according to Nuclear Regulation Authority.


Anonymous said...

Don't sell the fur before you shot the bear. A half year is a very long period for Tepco not to make mistakes or have serious problems. It's nice that it's like so far so good - if you can ever say that in a nuclear diseaster - but we can only be really feel a little relieft when this job is completely done. The other ones are a much bigger problem, if that ever can be solved.

Anonymous said...

Considering all the hand-wringing over unit 4 and how it was on the verge of collapse is a bit of a relief that this part of the job seems to be "under control".

Anonymous said...

Anon at the top, THIS was sold, by US experts (so-called), as "civilization-ending" work and the biggest problem. How they've gone quiet...

Anonymous said...

Anon@12:34 you may be wise to save your crowing until the job is done.

There are still many possibilities for catastrophic error in moving SPF4 fuel. So far Tepco has just moved the 'easy' fuel assemblies, leaving the most problematic to last.

Even if by some miracle Fuel in SPF4 is all moved to the common fuel pond before disaster strikes, there are still 3 other spent fuel pools that need to be addressed

Anonymous said...

"Anon at the top, THIS was sold .. How they've gone quiet... "
[you know, some "advocates" really should just "zip it", (deficiencies)]

Based on this, "The bulk of radiation comes not from radioactive cesium but cobalt-60 in the water", might we presume there's some damage to the zirc-cladded rods in the pool, and How is it conscionable for the British to dump their Sellafield cooling pond water in the sea? The same people who are planning to "help" Tepco dump their water??

Looking forward to your "silence" in response, 12:34, an anticipated eXqUiSiTe experience.

Anonymous said...

For 12:57 AM; "Even if by some miracle Fuel in SPF4 is all moved to the common fuel pond before disaster strikes, there are still 3 other spent fuel pools that need to be addressed"

Actually, that was a main point when one had to decide if a source is junk or relevant.
Sources continuously jumping around the pool of U4 (less structural damage, less contamination around the pool) could be considered as junk.

The pool of U3 always was a much bigger problem.
(Bigger, but still far from any doomsday prophecy from 'experts'.)

Anonymous said...

Your comment is a model of Obliviousness.

Sources are moving around in #4's pool? Really? Are the sources seeking entropic equilibrium?
Are rods sources of the mobility?
Motile rods: a new product of more recent experts.

Reactor operators are known to use scuba divers to inspect their spf's.
Would the divers feel safe near cobalt emissions?

Vyse Legendaire said...

It would be miraculous if they can finish this job without a major screw-up. However what will be more entertaining to see is the attempt to 'rehabilitate' the fuel from units 1-3.

Pawan Kumar said...

Download The Amazing Spider Man 2

Anonymous said...

Sounds like 3:35 anon has ingested one too many hot particles. 'Sources moving around ' lol. Next he or she will be blaming the entire Fukumess on the fairies.

Anonymous said...

Unit 4 was sold to a gullible, paranoid public as the probable cause of the death of all life on earth, and the public ate it up. That the "mainstream media" wasn't pushing this story only seemed to verify it - at least in the eyes of those that dread things they don't understand. Now that Unit 4 hasn't sunk, collapsed, or spontaneosly ignited, the paranoid move on to something else - like cobalt and Sellafield - and conveniently forget how strongly they believed in those who told them Unit 4 was falling down.

Anonymous said...

The issue with #4 is that it was a matter of time until something stupid did occur.
For you to be presenting that as delusions is more evidence of your emergent pattern, emergent as in, say, a turtle's head from its shell .. ?

Perhaps you could enlighten us as to the definitions of " relevant source" and "junk"?

Your psychology has piqued my interest. Now prove to us it's not psychobabble from the "expert" crowd.
I am prepared to believe that you are a software program, kind of like the generator of the captchas "Please prove you're not a robot."

Anonymous said...


You are too kind to 8:47.

It's his/her kind of hubristic, blinkered idiocy that got all of us into this mess in the first place. Denial is not a river in Africa, it's a state of mind in Japan.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, i have no idea what either of you are saying, other than the usual playground bullying of name-calling. Please, continue to fret about unit 4 falling down, FEMA camps, Obama's birth certificate, etc...

Anonymous said...


Please do explain what you mean by 'sources continuously jumping around the pool of U4' etc

What sources? What jumping?

Please do tell us what you think you mean

Anonymous said...

Oh, boys, you really are hopeless. I wonder how many more 'oops, next time it'll be definitely a real doomsday' will you need to start thinking by your own head...

You have no idea about the really critical operations, situations.

Right now TEPCO is preparing to remove the FHM of U3. The geometry of the fuel beneath that machinery is practically unknown. The exact know-how of the operation is unknown. The safety measures are unknown. Not enough information is presented, especially not in english (ExSKF, I hope you will do some digging for us about this, thank you in advance). The date of the operation is unknown.

And you are still obsessed with U4 pool: an operation which has nothing really new in it, it's done in every NPP in regular basis.

Anonymous said...

Yes, you are right, hubris is his message.

Similarly, I attempted to get Conca to answer some questions recently after his latest science spoof regarding Fuku.
He totally avoided the questions and hid behind his arm's-length voodoo doll he calls "If not WIPP, then where?".
And after calling my attempt to FIX his identity "bizarre".
Hubris, & narcissism.
p8 of comments,

Can you imagine a science doctorate ignoring a direct question about the Dept. of Energy seeking and obtaining permission to end inspection of material addressed to the WIPP?

A doctorate feigning dumb: REALLY??

Anonymous said...

What hubris is everyone talking about. Is it not hubris to claim Unit 4 will ruin the Northern Hemisphere, and then blithely move on to some other new anxiety when that first prediction doesn't come true? Many well-intentioned people claimed the pool at Unit 4 had run dry and that spent fuel rods were either burning, or that they would burn, but now we know that the pool never ran dry, and that the rods have not burned. This is not to say there is no danger, but the fear and dread is entirely misplaced. Units 1, 2, and 3 are nasty enough, but for some reason (Gundersen, I suspect) the anti-nuclear crowd was fixated on Unit 4.
Anon above, I read page 8 of the comments section, but I couldn't understand what you were talking about. You opened with a personal swipe at James Conca, and then made some odd, cryptic comments. How else was he supposed to respond. He seems to be happy responding in detail to people who engage him with intelligence and respect. But there do seem to be a lot of people who wag the finger at him, chanting "nuclear shill"... Like the discussion on here a few days ago, when Primavera posted a study indicating Pacific fish were safe to eat, which just enraged the anti-nuke crowd.

Anonymous said...

Radioactive cobalt is the result of neutrons interacting with not 'anything metal' but with non-radioactive cobalt.
To get dangerous amount of radioactive cobalt you need really high neutron radiation: on the 'insta-kill' level. So it's not possible that any neutron radiation gets through to U4 pool without notice - workers dropping dead would be quite noticeable.

The presence of cobalt in the U4 pool most likely means that:
- some corrosion takes place in the U4 core/RPV
- the water in the reactor well and the pool was/is mixed up.

It's definitely not good but requires no immediate action if the exposure of workers can be kept under control.

However it should be closely watched: such corrosion should be expected in the other cores too. On long term (years, decades) it could be dangerous, even if the cobalt-contaminated water can be kept under control (which is just partially stands right now).

Anonymous said...


Te reason that SPF4 was of greatest immediate concern were the facts that:

SPF 4 contained a FULL HOT LOAD of fuel which had just been unloaded from the reactor vessel in order that the shroud could be cut away and replaced. This hot fuel was in addition to the spent fuel already in SPF4

Thus there was/is grave concern that if the pool collapsed, the entire site would have to be abandoned. The consequences of abandoning the Fukushima site would be global and catastrophic.

Anonymous said...

That is a pathetic response, especially as you're nesting it in your supposed debunking of doomsday "fear porn" regarding spent fuel pools suspended 10s of meters above the ground in a "proven" earthquake zone.

"You opened with a personal swipe at James Conca, and then .. " No, actually my first comment preceded the next that identified him as narcissistic. Whether or not Forbes' timestamp preserved that order is for you to find out.
It's positioning in their order of comments is telling of the gymnastics that Forbes' Narcissus Crew goes thru to "maintain" their sense of "intellectual integrity" they tell themselves is foremost in their presentation of themselves to their readers.
But that's just snark, and a snark that Forbes' Crew knows is noted by commenters there.
Forbes' play with the clown above who calls the public "gullible".

Why dissemble so when all have noted that it is Certainly rod damage, damage attributable to loss of cooling water circulation.
What happens when that circulation stops?
Look to Medvedev's description of void spacings/cavitations on Chernobyl.
Guaranteed core damage. And later attempts to override NRC people saying 4's pool was low on water. Guaranteed spent rod damage.
That's like 8:53 claiming to know the comment submission order @ Forbes, when 8:53 doesn't really know, at all.
Slow day at GE [again]?

That cobalt gamma's dangerous because there's a fair amount of it.

12:29's "there was/is grave concern that if the pool collapsed, the entire site would have to be abandoned. " is exactly right.
But it is important for GE to front that elevated pools are not worthy of "fear porn".
GE's affirmation of "Those who have gone before us in this corporation shall not be defamed .. by those following, blah blah blah .. "

As if that could EVER mean Anything to people who know how to think.
Turtle heads, I tell 'ya!!

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 4:35 Sadly, your written expression is not as coherent as you believe it to be. I don't think a reverse-engineering of the time stamps at Forbes would improve the level of discourse. As to the SFP of unit 4 going dry, it is now known that Jaczkow was completely wrong in his assessment of the water level. As to whether or not we should live in fear of elevated SFPs I concede that you and I shall never see eye-to-eye on this issue. Given that all of these perilously elevated SFPs survived one of the biggest recorded earthqukes and thousands of aftershooks seems to me an indication of engineering sophistication, but your mileage may vary.

Anonymous said...


Wow! Now you are talking about the sophistication of engineering at Fukushima... That's really rich.

Where was the sophisticated breakwater that stopped the tsunami?

Where was the earthquake proof sophistication that prevented the reactors from starting to meltdown BEFORE THE TSUNAMI STRUCK?

Where was the sophistication in mishandling the analysis of 'tainted water' at Fukushima such that there were errors of several orders of magnitude (oops, maybe that was a sophisticated and orchestrated lie)

Where is the engineering sophistication of building leaky tanks on crumbling bases at FD?

Where is the engineering sophistication of using duct tape and plastic bags to seal leaky pipe work at FD?

The list is endless, the litany of incompetence is vast. The depth and breadth of deception is breath-taking. The blind acceptance of lie after lie is just sad.

Anonymous said...

6:52 is here again with his acknowledging that his position is totally untenable.
Forbes hosts authors who ignore the most relevant questions. check
NRC had people on site at Fuku, yet couldn't get close enough to visually verify water levels .. and its Jacyzko who misreported. check
Elevated SFPs are ok .. because we have domestic Russian roulette with places like Brown's Ferry with tin roofing over their pools in tornado alley. check
.. and, of course, the real sophistication is how "we", the technical trolls assigned to this issue, run you around in circles as "we" have ZERO intention of making any sense in what is, for "we", a competition amongst "whores" as "we" has it. check

This is "our" grab bag at, ahem, "media" ventures.

Anonymous said...

Here's what WE want, 6:52.

See these turbines by Ogin?

WE want the "model savers" of the world, the Japanese, to pull THEIR heads from their "turtle shells" and install clusters of these fukkers alongside the warning stones of the ancestors.
They're well suited for small-to-mid sized turbines.

Take 6:52's bull by the turtle shell! Yeah!

Anonymous said...

How shall I withstand the onslaught of such withering criticism?

anon @ 8:59 - I'm not talking about the sophistication of engineering at Fukushima. I'm talking about the sophisticated engineering at all of the nuclear plants along the coast of Japan that have elevated spent fuel pools that didn't fall down despite a magnitude 9 earthquake happening off the coast. I don't know what blind acceptance you are talking about. I note that many fear-mongers ignorantly accepted the lie that Unit 4 was sinking, that its contents had run dry, or that its contents were on the verge of going critical.

anon @ 8:59 I'm sorry, your post is gibberish.

anon @ 9:30 I can't imagine why you think I care what you want, but at any rate, your post is completely incomprehensible.

Anonymous said...

"How shall I withstand the onslaught of such withering criticism?" 1:53 PM

Why, you shall cram your head in GE's "turtle shell", preferably for yourself as far in there as needed to squelch your identity. Hasn't this been proven already??

GE's latest Tesla-like parlor trick, "the Mark I is a still-viable design", is about as believable as GE Capital divesting itself of "risk". And Mozillo to head the Better Business Bureau next?

Here's the essence of your ramblings (and yes, your superior officer in the Navy still "loves" you while spying on you):
"anon @ 1:53, I'm sorry, your post is gibberish."
"anon @ 1:53, I can't imagine why you think I care what you want, but at any rate, your post is completely incomprehensible."

1:53, perfecting the Art of Self-Dictation w/his Dictaphone, and FIXED.

Leslie E. Corrice said...

There are two major errors in this posting. First, Tepco has not "finally" updated their English version of the spent fuel movement page. It is updated weekly, and has been since November of 2013. I have monitored this every day since last year and have posted the weekly data in my Fukushima Updates blog Second, the statement that the spent fuel transfer operation is occurring "though with a significant radiation exposure to the workers" is ridiculous. Yes, they are receiving exposure in addition to natural background, but calling it "significant" is an exaggeration. Also, if the exposure is really from Co-60, it could not possibly be due to anything that came from any of the reactors at F. Daiichi - it is not a fission product. If it is, in fact, the main source of worker exposure, it must have come from Mother Nature or from the bomb tests in the 50s and 60s. In both cases, it is highly unlikely.

Anonymous said...

@Leslie E. Corrice: you are right that Co60 is not a fission product. But the 'regular' Co59 is present in the materials used in the core. And it can turn into Co60 by neutron capture.
Because of this in modern reactor designs the usage of cobalt-containing materials are avoided.

Anonymous said...

So now we Corrice claiming the Co-59 is not native to Daiichi.
Some sort of rod-storing scenario from other sites, or is Corrice claiming the emergency water suppliers sought out Co-59 water to fill SPF4 with?

And 7:57 says the Co-60 must be the fuel assemblies' steel as you'll recall we're talking about a pool here, not an RPV.

Anonymous said...


It is impossible for those outside of FD to know exactly how 'significant' the Co-60 worker's exposure is.

However given Tepco's historic proclivity to falsify radiation data, incompetently measure radiation data, etc etc, and given Tepco's statement that Co-60 IS a problem for the workers at SPF4, it might be reasonable to assume that it is indeed a significant issue

Anonymous said...

@12:14 PM: There was scenarios about the failing U4 pool gate (which possibly helped keeping the water level there high enough to prevent drying, if you can recall). It's also possible that the Co60 is from those times, arriwed with the water from the reactor well.

Simply put: we don't have enough knowledge to spot the exact source. The only stable point is that Co60 is so a nasty stuff that what's now found in U4 pool was once in U4 core. Not migrated, not newly produced. It was in the core when that core was operational.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that possible scenario, 12:45, but I do not think cooling water from 4's reactor loop made its way into 4's pool seeing as 4 was shutdown at the time of the quake.
Am I wrong in imagining pool water is dedicated, and vessel water dedicated?

12:42's "indeed a significant issue" it is.

I do remember the discussion here about the falling gate and cobalt in the pipe steels.

Anonymous said...

@ May 8, 2014 at 8:47 AM
The nuke industry has lost all credibility. TEPCO lead the dive but NP workers around the world kept pace, remaining quiet while watching NP workers ridicule the public, calling them liars or "fear mongers" for believing that the fuel had escaped containment when TEPCO knew that the fuel had melted through within the first few days. Lies, lies and more lies have not been forgotten - the public is not paranoid for refusing to trust TEPCO and NP operators around the world. The industry has contempt for the public it lies to and can't understand that they burned through the public's trust in their competence and honesty.
Upthread there's sneering about the importance of SPF #4. Well, if TEPCO addressed it first, isn't it likely TEPCO believed that it was most important to address first? After what TEPCO has and hasn't done, the public is correct to disbelieve what TEPCO says.

Unit 4 was sold to a gullible, paranoid public as the probable cause of the death of all life on earth, and the public ate it up. That the "mainstream media" wasn't pushing this story only seemed to verify it - at least in the eyes of those that dread things they don't understand. Now that Unit 4 hasn't sunk, collapsed, or spontaneosly ignited, the paranoid move on to something else - like cobalt and Sellafield - and conveniently forget how strongly they believed in those who told them Unit 4 was falling down.
Cobalt IS a problem. By the time TEPCO admits any hazard amid the ruins of 3 melt-through reactors, you have to assume they knew they couldn't deny it. For example, the cobalt in the walls of an apartment complex in Vietnam was scientifically evaluated against the health of the tennants and discovered to have caused elevated levels of leukemia.
I see damage control posts these days - too late, nuke power apologists are facing a documented loss of credibility that won't go away no matter how much they blame the public for their own incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Nobody suggested cobalt was not a problem. Nobody is blaming the public on this disaster.

You are creating a chimera in order to claim the moral high ground.

The issue in question is the faulty speculation that Unit 4 was on the verge of collapse, coupled with the belief that removing fuel from the pool at Unit 4 was so risky that rods would likely spontaneously go critical, and the northern hemisphere would perish. It has nothing to do with cobalt or a host of other nasty substances which will continue to be a problem at Fukushima. Fukushima is not safe. However, it is not the armageddon that some people continue to claim it is.

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