A series of videos were released recently showing sections of the spent fuel pool at unit 3 of Fukushima Daiichi. While they do not show all areas of the pool they do give some hints at the condition of the pool. These are the best quality videos to date. This may be do to attempts to clear the pool water to aid the retrieval of objects in the pool.
We have an extensive collection of large format images based off of the new video inspections. These provide an improved visual with a high level of detail. View the entire image collection of the new unit 3 videos here on our Flickr page:
Findings and comments:
The photo above reveals potential damage to fuel assembly lifting bails. There is perhaps 100 tons of debris or more, all of which deposited various forms of debris over the fuel thus restricting the convective cooling flow.
A mangled mess.. how will they be able to remove it with out further damage to fuel assemblies?
Deep fine debris piled on top of the fuel racks.
The mix of sheet steel, tangled rebar and concrete cover the racks.
Side view of a fuel rack piled with concrete debris.
Steel walls of the fuel handling machine.
TEPCO has left many questions unanswered. How do they intend to deal with the piles of fine concrete debris on top of the racks? What will they do to deal with possible debris down in the assemblies that could hinder removal? If some of the fuel assemblies have damaged or broken lifting handles how will they remove these assemblies from the pool? How will they remove the refueling crane from the pool?
Many challenges remain ahead to reach the point where fuel can be removed.
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