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Expert warns of collapse at Fukushima reactor: “It would be the end of Japan”… New photos show serious structural damage at Unit 2… “It’s a fantasy” that they can decommission plant — AP: Melted fuel has broken pieces of structure in containment vessel (VIDEO)
Published: March 10th, 2017 at 1:44 pm ET
Interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott on Nuclear Hotseat hosted by Libbe HaLevy, Feb 22, 2017 (emphasis added):
Dr. Caldicott: “Those incredibly high measurements [of radioactivity recently detected in Fukushima Daiichi’s Reactor No. 2 containment vessel] mean, I think almost certainly, that they will never be able to clean it up or decommission it… Talk about decommissioning and cleaning it up in 100 years… I think it’s a fantasy.”
Host: “What was also revealed in these new photos is what appears to be a hole in a grate at the bottom of the Unit 2 reactor containment vessel. It’s variously been described as one meter or two meters in diameter. What does that mean?”
Dr. Caldicott: … “I spoke to Arnie Gundersen, who’s a nuclear engineer, and he said that the robot did pick up structural damage to the building of Unit 2, which means it makes it unstable should there be another earthquake greater than 7 on the Richter scale — which then means the building could collapse, which then means that would collapse onto the molten core, and also with the spent fuel rods which are incredibly radioactive in the spent fuel pool, they would go down as well. A huge amount of radiation would be released, such that it would be the end of Japan and certainly, very much radioactive fallout in the Northern Hemisphere such that I would probably get my family from Boston to come straight away to Australia.”
Yomiuri Shimbun, Mar 7, 2017: On the floor under the pressure vessel of the [No. 2] reactor, a large hole was discovered. It is believed to have been created when nuclear fuel fell down.
AP, Mar 2, 2017: A robot sent inside the Unit 2 containment vessel last month could not reach as close to the core area as was hoped for because it was blocked by deposits, believed to be a mixture of melted fuel and broken pieces of structures inside… [TEPCO] needs to know the melted fuel’s exact location as well as structural damage in each of the three wrecked reactors… Earlier probes have suggested worse-than-anticipated challenges… “We should think out of the box so we can examine the bottom of the core and how melted fuel debris spread out,” [TEPCO’s Naohiro] Masuda told reporters… [E]xperts are still trying to figure out a way to access the badly damaged Unit 3. TEPCO is struggling with the plant’s decommissioning.
See also: Expert: “Potential Global Catastrophe” from Fukushima Unit 2 highly radioactive fuel… Reactor could be destroyed, “making Tokyo area uninhabitable”… This is “most dreaded” scenario — Already “partially liquefying” below reactors