Fukushima Unit 1 To Undergo Spent Fuel Pool Desalination

desalination_unit1_140401_01TEPCO reported they will now remove the salt from the unit 1 spent fuel pool. Maybe you are asking why now, over 3 years later are they just getting around to this? We wondered the same thing. In reviewing our older notes it appears TEPCO may not have added any water to the unit 1 spent fuel pool during those early days where they were forced to use sea water for cooling at the plant, or at least not very much of it.

We did find evidence of the putzmeister being used at unit 1 during the early weeks of the disaster. The configuration shows the water spout over the area where the tool pit is. When unit 1 exploded the entire roof fell back down over the refueling floor as an almost solid sheet. The spent fuel pool was covered by the roof remains. So it is not clear how they would be injecting water into the unit 1 pool or tool pit.

u1_putzmeister

 

Unit 1 had a smaller amount of fuel assemblies in the spent fuel pool compared to the other reactors.

Spent fuel pool current inventory 392
Spent fuel pool damaged assemblies: 70

The percentage of assemblies that were damaged from before the disaster is of concern. The condition of these already damaged assemblies could have been made worse by salt in the pool, high heat or out of control water chemistry. Our records showed a 2012 set of water tests for the unit 1 spent fuel pool. This report also showed no effort back in 2012-2013 to desalinate the unit 1 spent fuel pool.
2012 water chemistry for unit 1 SFP
PH
7.8 Conductivity mS/m 17.2
Chloride 5ppm (as of 7.2012)

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