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Page added on July 29, 2016

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New study on Fukushima reactor shows most fuel was contained

Enviroment

Photo/IllutrationThe Asahi Shimbun

  • Photo/Illustraion

Most of the nuclear fuel inside the No. 2 reactor at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant apparently did not melt through the pressure vessel as previously believed, research using muon tomography has revealed.

The assessment was made based on a study that utilized muons, an elementary particle that travels from outer space, to capture the interiors of the crippled reactor building like an X-ray.

Tokyo Electric Power Co., the ill-fated facility’s operator, made the announcement on July 28.

According to the utility, the technique captured a black shadow estimated to account for 180 to 210 tons of substances in the lower part of the reactor’s containment vessel.

There was about 160 tons of nuclear fuel inside the No. 2 reactor, which was operating when it suffered a meltdown in the accident that resulted from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

As the nuclear fuel, control rods and other materials that would have melted down totaled about 210 tons in weight, TEPCO deemed that “a large portion of the nuclear fuel is presumed to be contained within the pressure vessel.”

The latest finding negates past studies that have suggested that most of the nuclear fuel inside the reactor had melted through the vessel.

“We hope to effectively come up with a method to extract the melted fuel,” said Naohiro Masuda, president of TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Decontamination & Decommissioning Engineering Co.

Muons are known to travel through materials such as concrete, but are unable to penetrate highly dense substances such as uranium.

The International Research Institute for Nuclear Decommissioning, an organization made up of the utility and nuclear power plant manufacturers, had been using the particles’ properties to peer inside the No. 2 reactor since March.

asahi



18 Comments on "New study on Fukushima reactor shows most fuel was contained"

  1. shortonoil on Fri, 29th Jul 2016 8:16 pm 

    Because the radiation levels where very high in Tokyo, and as measured at sea, this means that something else blew up. Most likely reactor #1.

  2. diemos on Fri, 29th Jul 2016 9:41 pm 

    All three melted down and released large amounts of volatile fission products.

    That’s what was seen in tokyo and around the world.

    Most of the fuel is expected to still be in the containment.

  3. trotsky say's on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 2:58 am 

    i’ve never seen tor so lagged , or got 404ed to the floor b4 , i’m scared to post this lest i see the trained monkeys at my door

  4. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 4:39 am 

    The imaging method is clever. However, if you look at the raw image without the extra sketching, it’s totally fuzzy and doesn’t tell you anything. They drew lines onto it which look crisp, but may not be very accurate.

  5. Kenz300 on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 8:24 am 

    Nuclear energy is too costly and too dangerous……….

    What will the final cost of the clean up be……..who will pay for it………. who will pay to store the nuclear waste forever……………..

    It is time to transition to safer, cleaner and cheaper wind and solar power.

    The world needs to learn from the disasters at Chernobyl and Fukushima……… the cost to people and the environment is too high…….

  6. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 8:59 am 

    wait a minute. a melted reactor that is so radioactive that 5 years later, absolutely nothing, not even any piece of machinery, can get near it? So you have to take an image of it using muons from outer space?

    Surely that is the best possible way to produce power? It’s a great idea. We need more of those. oh, it doesn’t produce any power, its melted down? details details.

  7. shortonoil on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 9:29 am 

    “All three melted down and released large amounts of volatile fission products “

    What they are saying, is that, the containment vessel on reactor #2 was not breached. There were 2 more reactors at Fukushima, each containing about 160 tons of fuels. Only one of the two would have had to have been released to create an environmental disaster. Five years later and they still are not telling us a thing about what happened? The cover up of the largest environmental disaster in history goes on.

    The present reactor design being used is not safe, never was, and never can be made so. About 1% of all the reactors ever built have failed dramatically at some point. This is big corporation propaganda, assisted with NRC complacency. You’re the frog, and they are heating up the pot!

  8. Bob on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 9:41 am 

    And people complain that solar/wind power is too expensive, unreliable and ugly! Japan will still be mucking with these things 50 years from now! We need to decommission all nukes (plants and bombs) before someone really gets hurt. Like New York City wiped out for 1000 years because of a meltdown.

  9. Boat on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 9:55 am 

    bob,

    Solar/wind with bombs mixed together. A raciest to boot. You should fit in well here.

  10. makati1 on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 9:58 am 

    Bob, most countries cannot afford to decom 1 nuke reactor, how can they decom 400+? The Us has over 100 of these death bombs already. And they don’t know what to do with the 250,000+ tons of spent fuel already in the pools. No, we have sown the wind and will now reap the whirlwind. Cancers are going to proliferate in the years ahead, when there will be no medical services to ease the pain.

  11. yoshua on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 10:39 am 

    “And they don’t know what to do with the 250,000+ tons of spent fuel already in the pools.”

    Bill Gates company TerraPower is ready to build a IV generation nuclear reactor that will use spent fuel rods as an energy source.

    The reactor is a slow burning plutonium bomb that will produce energy for 60 years… if everything goes right.

    If something goes wrong the Blue Screen of Death will have a new meaning.

  12. makati1 on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 11:04 am 

    yosha, you really need to get your mind cleared of all of the bullshit you have been swallowing from sales pitches and scams to get your money. That will NEVER be built. You are dreaming of a George Jetson future and will get a Barney Rubble one instead.

  13. onlooker on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 11:08 am 

    “You are dreaming of a George Jetson future and will get a Barney Rubble one instead.” Definition of a Cornucopian haha.

  14. shortonoil on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 11:48 am 

    “Bob, most countries cannot afford to decom 1 nuke reactor, how can they decom 400+?”

    They can shut them down, let them cool, and dry cask the rods. Bury the damn plants, and mark them so future generations will know for the next 10,000 years to stay away.

  15. peakyeast on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 12:22 pm 

    I would rather like to see some information from TEPCO on what they have done to ensure that they are not bullshitting everyone as they seem to have made a habit of with even insignificant details..

    So TEPCO: Why should we believe a habitual liar that still has a lot to win by lying?

  16. Apneaman on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 7:15 pm 

    Uncovering Chernobyl, Thirty Years On

    http://cambridgeglobalist.org/2016/07/04/uncovering-chernobyl-thirty-years/

  17. onlooker on Sat, 30th Jul 2016 7:29 pm 

    To nuclear proponents read carefully
    the link by AP on Chernobyl. How can anyone now say that nuclear is an answer. Especially now with Fukushima. Just one more of the lasting legacies of humanities time on Earth. Do you wish to believe govt studies or paid “expert” shills or someone like Helen Caldicott who as a Pediatrician became interested in nuclear related questions especially in regard to health. She is one person who has dedicated her life with a zeal to sounding the alarm on Nuclear.

  18. Kenz300 on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 9:53 am 

    Fukishima and Chernobyl will take how long to clean up and cost how much………….nuclear energy is too costly and too dangerous and is poisoning the planet

    Radiation Along Fukushima Rivers Up to 200 Times Higher Than Pacific Ocean Seabed

    http://www.ecowatch.com/radiation-fukushima-rivers-200-times-higher-than-pacific-ocean-seabed-1937971722.html

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