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Japan Prepares For High Risk Removal of 4000+ Tons of Fukashima Fuel Rods
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Japan Prepares For High Risk Removal of 4000+ Tons of Fukashima Fuel Rods - September 7, 2013, 06:07 PM

Where's Birdman when you need him?

.........

Each fuel rod assembly weighs about 300 kilograms (700 lbs) and is 4.5 meters long. There are 1,331 of the spent fuel assemblies or roughly 931,700 lbs, some 4,659 tons of radioactive material, and a further 202 unused assemblies are also stored in the pool, Nagai said.

Almost 550 assemblies had been removed from the reactor core just before the quake and tsunami set off the crisis. These are the most dangerous because they have only been cooling in the pool for two and a half years.

“The No. 4 reactor was not operating at the time of the accident, so its fuel had been moved to the pool from the reactor, and if you calculate the amount of cesium 137 in the pool, the amount is equivalent to 14,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs,” said Hiroaki Koide, assistant professor at Kyoto University Research Reactor Institute.

Spent fuel rods also contain plutonium, one of the most toxic substances in the universe, that gets formed during the later stages of a reactor core’s operation.

“There is a risk of an inadvertent criticality if the bundles are distorted and get too close to each other,” Gundersen said.


He was referring to an atomic chain reaction that left unchecked could result in a large release of radiation and heat that the fuel pool cooling system isn’t designed to absorb.

“The problem with a fuel pool criticality is that you can’t stop it. There are no control rods to control it,” Gundersen said. “The spent fuel pool cooling system is designed only to remove decay heat, not heat from an ongoing nuclear reaction.”

The rods are also vulnerable to fire should they be exposed to air, Gundersen said.



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September 7, 2013, 06:31 PM

Glad I don't have that job.
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September 7, 2013, 06:35 PM

Glad I don't live in Japan.


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September 7, 2013, 06:49 PM

Such little people with such large rods...


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September 7, 2013, 07:15 PM

Shit. I love me some sushi. Guess I'll have to hold off for a while.


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September 7, 2013, 08:24 PM

I think I already have the plot for the next Godzilla movie.



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September 7, 2013, 08:38 PM

Shouldn't be an issue. What could go wrong?

Wouldn't it be cool if someone could devise a way to send spent nuclear fuel rods via rocket into an orbit/trajectory such that it would collide w/ the sun!
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Shouldn't be an issue. What could go wrong?

Wouldn't it be cool if someone could devise a way to send spent nuclear fuel rods via rocket into an orbit/trajectory such that it would collide w/ the sun!
Too expensive


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Not as expensive as a global nuclear winter


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September 8, 2013, 10:17 AM

If anyone can pull it off, it's the Japanese.


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If anyone can pull it off, it's the Japanese.









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