Radioactive fuel rods exposed

Posted: March 17, 2011 in Current Events

When I made my last entry regarding the dangers of nuclear power plants I mentioned the problem with spent fuel rods and how the solution at the Ontario facilities is to store them in deep swimming pools.  After further clarification of the problem in Japan, it seems that these spent fuel rods, which they store in a similar way, are a big part of their problem.  Either lack of power to the pumps or structural damage has caused the water in their pools to leak out, exposing the spent fuel rods to the air and allowing them to heat up.  This creates hydrogen, which is highly explosive.

It is important to note that, if the Japanese facilities are built the same way as the ones here in Ontario, all of the safety measures around containment will be focused on the actual reactors.  The safety containment standards of the spent fuel pools is considerably less.  They are not seen as the potential threat or risk.

That oversight is at least partially responsible for the critical situation now being faced in Japan.



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