Unit 4 Still Poses Considerable Risk, Expert Calls For Independent Safety Inspection

A Canadian nuclear expert is calling for an independent review of unit 4 at Fukushima Daiichi where inspectors from outside Japan would do a safety analysis. He cites a similar process used in Canada to have US experts do an independent review of facilities to ensure no bias is involved. Currently the safety of unit 4 relies on promises from TEPCO that all is well.

A collapse of the fuel pool or damage to the pool causing it to no longer hold water could quickly escalate into a major nationwide disaster. A NES report said that it would only take 2.3 hours for the pool to begin discharging substances if cooling was knocked out. TEPCO initially claimed there were no structural concerns with the heavily damaged building and fuel pool. NES said even a substantial crack could cause the pool to no longer hold water. TEPCO has since put concrete supports under the pool in an attempt to compensate for the damage and loss of other supporting systems in the building. It is estimated as 2014 before they can begin removing fuel from the pool and it currently holds 204 new fuel assemblies recently removed from the reactor as part of the 1331 total assemblies in the pool.

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