29 Dec '14, 4am

Nuclear Risk Expert: Fukushima's Fuel Could Still Seep Out - IEEE Spectrum @IEEESpectrumさんから

If melted fuel escapes the reactor vessel and collects on the floor of the dry well it still needs to be continuously cooled, since it still produces decay heat even after the nuclear fission reaction has stopped. And that cooling procedure can be difficult. First, the melted fuel and debris (which could be up to 2 meters in depth) must be covered in water. That may not be possible in the Fukushima reactor buildings, because the wet wells, which are connected to the dry wells by a series of pipes, appear to have been damaged by the explosions and to be leaking. "Even if you could flood the place with water, there's no guarantee that you can keep it cool throughout," says Theofanous. "The fuel can form a crust, isolate itself from the water, and keep on eating through the concrete floor." If the fuel eats all the way through the floor, the chances of a major release of radi...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/energy/nuclear/nuclear...

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