Japan feared three months after the Fukushima nuclear power plant was hit by a tsunami that aftershocks could further damage one of its fuel storage pools, causing rods inside to melt and spew radiation within hours, according to a newly released document.
The Japan Nuclear Energy Safety Organization said it carried out a simulation that showed some 1,500 mostly used fuel rods at the plant’s No. 4 reactor building could start breaking in two hours if aftershocks further damaged the pool and caused cooling water to escape. The fuel rods could start melting within eight hours, the organization said in a report dated June 30 and published Friday.
The report shows that the pool remained vulnerable for nearly four months until its operator completed reinforcement work in July. Tokyo Electric Power Co. had said before then that the building could withstand major aftershocks without reinforcement, but made repairs after acknowledging structural damage and water leaks from the pool area.
Read the rest of the story: Report reveals Japan feared aftershocks would cause fuel melt at crippled nuke plant.