The Fires in Spent Fuel Pool Number 4, Fukushima-Diiachi

Apparently there WERE fires at the SFPs. So it seems likely that the radiation may already be up in the atmosphere!

Paul Langley's Nuclear History Blog

The Japan Atomic Industry Forum at provides links to its “Reactor Status and Major Events Update – NPPs in Fukushima (Estimated by JAIF) March 2011”. Earliest date provided being Update Number 2, Tuesday March 15 2011 at 10.30 hours.

This status update states that Reactor 4 is “safe”. This report notes the evacuation zone is 20 kms from the NPP.

Status update 3 of 13:00 hours 15 March 2011 states that the evacuation zone is “Evacuation Area 20km from NPS * People who live between 20km to 30km from the Fukushima #1NPS are to stay indoors.”

The update reports also notes that “Remarks: Fire broke (out) on the 4th floor of the Unit-4 Reactor Building around 6AM and the radiation monitor readings increased outside of the building:
30mSv between Unit-2 and Unit-3, 400mSv beside Unit-3, 100mSv beside Unit-4 at 10:22.
It is estimated that the spent fuels stored in…

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2 responses to “The Fires in Spent Fuel Pool Number 4, Fukushima-Diiachi

  1. I believe on the basis of the sources cited in the above post that most assuredly, there were two instances where fuel rod cladding was burning in spent fuel pool 4. Being a reactive metal, the term “fire” or “”flame” needs to be understood. When reactive metal including zircalloy reactor fuel rod cladding rapidly oxidizes, it may do so with or without flame. The end result is damaged fuel rods. The contents of the fuel rods a free to escape. Where the containment building is damaged, as in Reactoor 4, the overheating fuel pool is free to vent into the open air. There were two fires. The fuel rods continued to overheat even when the fire had been put out.

    • So the zirconium allow is kinda like a banana skin to the rods, once it has peeled off or in our case burned off), the fuel is able to vent. As you say. Question is, has the fuel already gone from there?

      Bit rusty on my chemisty as I am a chemist and trying to see what the heck is going on here!

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