Report: Nuclear fuel still burning through bottom of Fukushima plant?
Report: Nuclear fuel still burning through bottom of Fukushima plant? — Expert: Corium likely melted into earth… Will pour highly radioactive waste into ocean “for rest of time” — NYTimes: Fuel may never be removed, reactors to be entombed like Chernobyl
NY Times, Mar 11, 2017 (emphasis added): Some say the radioactive material may prove impossible to remove safely and have suggested leaving it and entombing Fukushima under a concrete and steel sarcophagus like the one used at Chernobyl.
Xinhua, Mar 12, 2017: There have also been concerns that the melted nuclear fuel residue is eroding the concrete bottom of the safety shell of the reactors, having already penetrated the reactor pressure vessel.
Xinhua, Mar 11, 2017: “It is very important to provide the public with information, including information about the concealment of the melted core,” [Naohiro Masuda, head of the TEPCO’s decommissioning unit] said… Masuda said that the residue of melted nuclear fuel is now “mostly immersed in water” and kept at a relatively low temperature, and that there is “no need to worry” about the melted nuclear fuel residue eroding through the concrete bottom of the safety shell.
DW, Mar 11, 2017: Even Shunji Uchida, the Fukushima Daiichi plant manager, couldn’t hide his skepticism from the visiting journalists. “Robots and cameras have already provided us with valuable pictures,” says Uchida, adding: “But it is still unclear what is really going on inside.”
Dr. Helen Caldicott on Nuclear Hotseat, Feb 22, 2017 (at 29:00 in): “There’s a huge amount of water that pours down the mountains everyday beneath the reactors which was all well and good when the reactors were intact – now they are not. Now there are three cores of corium – molten cores – that probably have buried their way, or dug their way, into the earth beneath the reactors. Even if they haven’t the reactor buildings have been shattered where the cores are so the water pours in and over the reactor cores continuously. And so that water becomes highly radioactive and then it pours into the ocean from the beneath the reactors and so everyday 300 to 400 tons – tons – of very radioactive water has poured into the pacific every day since the accident of March 11, 2011 and continues to do so and will do so I think for the rest of time.”