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Submission + - Nuclear Fuel Rods Damaged, TEPCO Admits ( 1

RedEaredSlider writes: Tokyo Electric Power Co. confirmed that some spent fuel rods in one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant are damaged.

Kyodo News reports that the company analyzed the water in the spent fuel pool of reactor No. 4. The water had iodine-131 and cesium-137 at much higher than expected levels. TEPCO said it measured 220 becquerels per cubic centimeter of iodine-131, 88 becquerels per cubic centimeter of cesium-134 and 93 becquerels of cesium-137. Such levels are up to 100,000 times normal, according to the Japanese Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency.

Many outside experts had already said that it was likely the fuel rods were damaged because of the presence of iodine and cesium isotopes in the areas around the plant. A tell-tale sign that rods are damaged is the presence of iodine-131, because its half-life is only about eight days. Cesium-134 has a half-life of about two years and cesium-137's half-life is about 30 years.

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Nuclear Fuel Rods Damaged, TEPCO Admits

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  • The more time that passes, the worse the news gets. And TEPCO is probably still trying to minimize the reports, avoiding even more public concern and government involvement.

    But it's predictable. We still have no idea what happened in the 48-72 hour period after the tsunami, and that was when very bad things were going to happen. All else is the result of that crucial time period and the response.

    And inevitable. TEPCO didn't seem to have a plan for this magnitude of disaster, and I'm not sure they could

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead