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Possible melted fuel seen for first time at Fukushima plant

19 Comments
By MARI YAMAGUCHI

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"It's still just the beginning of the (decades-long) decommissioning. There is still a long way to go, including developing the necessary technology," he said. "But it's a big step forward."

Quit with the repetition of how long it's going to take, and just get it done.

Every time I hear this repeated it makes me think that there is an ulterior motive involved with it as well.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Why are they waiting until after the 2020 Olympics? Are they afraid that when they start to decommission it, there might be more bad news and nobody will want to visit Fukushima? That is what it sounds like to me.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Why has the sunfish lasted longer than any previous robot? Do they pull it back out each time, somehow? Or do they leave it in there to use again next day? Or do they cut it loose and insert a new one for each dive?

So many questions.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Though I'm sure there are some legitimate reasons for not starting the decommissioning and removal of melted fuel till after the Olympics, I'd say the primary reason is, concern over Japan's image by the rest of the world. The last thing they want is to get more bad publicity while so much international media is here.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

They now know where it is, next step is planning on how to remove it.

Decomission an intact plant is difficult and lenghty enough, no-one has ever done one like Fukushina.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the difficult challenges ahead in the decades-long decommissioning of the destroyed plant.

The main reason it will take so long is, they are waiting for the technology to be invented to deal with this mess. At present, there is still no way to remove and store the damaged fuel even though they have found it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The main reason it will take so long is, they are waiting for the technology to be invented to deal with this mess.

No, the main reason it will take so long is because it always takes decades to decommission nuclear plants. This one has additional difficulties alongside it, but it your hypothesis as to the reason it will take that long ignores the fact that it would take that long anyways.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

@Strangerland - No, the main reason it will take so long is because it always takes decades to decommission nuclear plants. This one has additional difficulties alongside it, but it your hypothesis as to the reason it will take that long ignores the fact that it would take that long anyways.

Oh, so once again we see Strangerland coming up with contrary arguments just for the sake of arguing, with no real fact or information to support it. * "the main reason it will take so long is because it 'always' takes decades to decommission nuclear plants" Always? Just how many nuclear power plants have suffered a multiple meltdown and nitrogen explosion due to a tsunami? Um, let me think..... Only one! What you have said is, "It takes so long because it takes so long." *Amazing insight there!

Furthermore, it has taken six years just to develop a drone camera capable of withstanding the heat and radiation so close to the melted cores. All previous drones disintegrated before they even got close. To date, there is still no technology or machinery capable of dealing with the removal of the melted fuel rods. They have been able to remove some of the undamaged rods, but even if they get to the melted debris they cannot remove it, nor can they store it. This technology must be developed before they can go ahead with removing it, which will take decades.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Oh, so once again we see Strangerland coming up with contrary arguments just for the sake of arguing, with no real fact or information to support it. * "the main reason it will take so long is because it 'always' takes decades to decommission nuclear plants" Always?

Yes, always:

The Decommissioning Process

The companies that operate nuclear power plants can use one or both of two options1 to decommission their facilities: SAFSTOR (Safe Storage) or DECON (Decontamination). Generally, sites must spend no longer than 50 years in SAFSTOR to allow up to 10 years for decontamination. The entire process must be completed within 60 years.

Link (from The Nuclear Energy Institute): https://www.nei.org/Master-Document-Folder/Backgrounders/Fact-Sheets/Decommissioning-Nuclear-Energy-Facilities

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@ nandakandamanda - water is a very good shield against radiation, and is used in the pressure vessel to protect operators when they undergo maintenance, as well as shield and cool the spent fuel rods. All the other robots were crawler types that were in open dry air, and were exposed to massive doses of radiation, which damaged their electronic sensors and other components very quickly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Being TEPCO with track records of falsifying, lying and cover-up, this picture could be anything, they need to show some progress while milking the whole decommissioning process to make even more profit on their own disaster.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

all I can add is follow the currents, look at the shoreline and vegetation downstream and upstream, posted photos are immediately removed, but the few folks who have seen them know the truth.  Be careful of the fish you eat and if you don't believe buy your won detector and follow the current.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Look to the Chernobyl disaster to get a timeline for a decommissioning of a meltdown to get a general timeline. Nothing is going to happen anytime soon in regards to this accident. The simple problem is the radiation levels are so high that you cannot get close to what is left of the blown reactor containment. The reactor will be entombed in place waiting for the radiation half life to be spent before getting close enough to safely dismantled. This will be ongoing HUNDREDS of years from now...

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Interesting to note that the melted fuel from Chernobyl is still so radioactive that it is deadly to look directly at it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Saw an experiment in a documentary where they struggled to make any progress slicing through corium even with rotary diamond-coated cutting blades, in ideal conditions.

For background reading on corium and corium debris, see:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corium_(nuclear_reactor)

(Fukushima needs updating a little at the end.)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wanderlust, many thanks! :thumbs:

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why has the sunfish lasted longer than any previous robot?

Because it is underwater and the water shields much of the radiation.

it is deadly to look directly at it.

Really? Any source for this claim?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Please add nothing has been done in over 6 years in the title.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Any source for this claim?

No, I made it all up. I couldn't possibly have used an innovative research tool called "the internet".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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