Fukushima 1: Fuel Rods Exposed

12 March 2011, 12:03

According to the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA), the level of water to cool the nuclear reactor at Unit 1 of the Fukushima 1 Nuclear Power Plant has declined.  As of 11:20 AM, a part of the “fuel assembly” of fuel rods is now exposed above water.  The maximum exposure as of now is about 90 cm.  If the fuel rods remain exposed, they will be damaged, releasing radioactivity.  That’s the danger that is threatening the plant, according to NISA.  So, about 27,000 liters of water, including the water that has been stored for firefighting, is now being pumped into the reactor, via makeshift pumps and other means, in order to raise the water level.

The original article “福島第一 燃料一部露出のおそれ” was published on the NHK Web site.  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).   Cf. Nuclear Information and Resource Service, “Fact Sheet on Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant” (11 March 2011); Union of Concerned Scientists, “Nuclear Crisis in Japan: What We Know” (11 March 2011); NHK, “Fukushima 1: Fuel Meltdown Begins” (12 March 2011); NHK, “Fukushima 1: Evacuation Incomplete” (12 March 2011).

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