Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Japan's nuclear crisis far from over: Spent fuel rod reactor pool at boiling point

Anyone else frustrated by the daily assurances that the situation in Japan is under control, only to be followed by more doom? The latest emergency as reported by CTV:
In a reminder that the battle to stop the spread of radiation at the plant is still not over, officials said Tuesday that a pool holding spent nuclear fuel had heated up to around the boiling point.
Even spent fuel rods can generate intense heat and dangerous radiation. The rods need to be stored in a water-filled pool for a year or more to allow them to cool, and the heat from the pools needs to be constantly removed.
The worry at the overheating Fukushima fuel pool is that if it's not cooled down soon, radioactive steam will be emitted. And if the situation worsens, the water within could boil away, exposing the fuel rods, which would throw up much more radiation
Last week, the IAEA warned that if the reactor in Japan continues to emit radiation, the health hazard to the USA would have to be reexamined.

Meanwhile, AP reported that steam was seen rising from reactor No. 2, and white haze from reactor No. 3, as radiation at both units spiked briefly.

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