TEPCO is now admitting the number of damaged spent fuel rods in some of their reactors at the Daiichi plant. There is a total of 80 heavily damaged fuel assemblies from before the disaster, 70 of them are in unit 1’s spent fuel pool. Workers have not been able to inspect this fuel pool due to debris and damage to the building.
Ex-SKF translates from a local Fukushima newspaper that TEPCO has admitted these damaged assemblies. TEPCO says that most of them have pinhole leaks where the assembly can release radiation through the cladding. This type of fuel damage is quite common and found at plants around the world. TEPCO has not removed a single one of these damaged assemblies, some could be as much as 40 years old. The pool has 392 assemblies with 100 of these being unused fuel and 70 damaged spent fuel. There are standard processes and procedures for removing damaged fuel from spent fuel pools. Why TEPCO did not bother to do this with any of their damaged fuel shows the business practices of the company before the disaster.
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