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Dangerous Operation at Fukushima's Reactor No. 4 Could Ignite "Atomic Chain Reaction"
Members of the media wearing protective suits and masks at Fukushima's
No.4 reactor, March 6, 2013 (AFP Photo/Issei Kato) [snip]
Attempt to remove fuel rods from crippled building could cause
- Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer
Threatening to trigger a new—and possibly more devastating—nuclear
disaster than the original or ongoing one at the Fukishima plant in
Japan, a risky plan to remove fuel rods from a damaged reactor building
could unleash an "unprecedented" level of radiation, according to
experts, if things go wrong.
According to reporting by Reuters,
the radioactive material within the fuel rods slated for removal are
equivalent to 14,000 times the amount released in the atomic bombing of
Hiroshima and the plan to move them "has never been attempted before on
The 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel and other nuclear materials
will be taken from the crippled building and moved to a safer location,
but the manner of the operation should be put in serious doubt, say the
"They are going to have difficulty in removing a significant number of
the rods," said Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and
director of Fairewinds Energy Education. The fuel rods are being stored
in a cooling pool, but if a reaction begins, Gundersen expressed serious
concern to Reuters about
the company's ability to respond.
"To jump to the conclusion that it is going to work just fine," said
Gundersen, "is quite a leap of logic."