March 16, 2012
The corporate media is again ignoring a major and potentially catastrophic development at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
Kyodo News reported on March 15 that “that the clarity of water inside the spent fuel pool of the No. 4 unit may have deteriorated based on a survey conducted by a camera,” according to Tokyo Electric Power Co., the plant operator.
TEPCO said “visibility in the pool is only about 1 meter, far less than the approximately 7 meters needed to work at removing nuclear fuel from the pool as part of the process of scrapping the four reactors severely damaged by last year’s nuclear accident.”
One month ago, TEPCO was able to see approximately five meters into the spent fuel pool water.
The spent fuel rods pose considerable hazard. In order to reduce “decay heat,” the rods must remain submerged in circulating water. If exposed to air, they combust and release large amounts of radioactive cesium-137.
Following the earthquake and tsunami that damaged the Fukushima plant last year, the Japanese government underestimated the amount of radiation released into the environment, including cessium-137 from the fuel pool at reactor 4.