Status of Spent Fuel at Reactor: März 2011

März 2011

Japan's Nuclear Crisis: Status of Spent Fuel at Exploded Reactor Buildings Unclear

John McGlynn

The Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER) is asking an important question about Japan's nuclear crisis that seems to have been ignored by the media and in announcements from the Japanese government and Japan's nuclear power industry: What is happening with the spent fuel pools located at the top of the buildings housing the Unit 1 and Unit 3 reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant facility? Both reactor buildings have lost their upper structures due to explosions possibly caused by a hydrogen gas build-up (Unit 1 on March 12, Unit 3 on March 14).

IEER writes in its analysis of the situation at the Daiichi nuclear facility: "While Japanese authorities have stated that the reactor vessel is still intact [editor's note: Here IEER refers to reactor #1 but the same applies to reactor #3], there has been no word regarding the status of the spent fuel pool structure, except indirectly. Is it still intact? This is a critical question as to the range of potential consequences of the reactor accident.

Posted March 14, 2011.

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