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At a rate of 30-40 tons of water a day, it will take a lot of time to replenish the No. 4 spent fuel pond... even if cooling systems can be re-started.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 03:48:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Especially if some of the spent fuel pools don't hold water. In that case dropping boron and sand would seem to be indicated. Then water could be dropped on that. This disaster is no where near Chernobyl levels -- yet. But it still has great and terrible potential. Per NBC Evening News the US has recommended covering the exposed and evaporating spent fuel pools with sand and boron but the Japanese have not agreed. What valid considerations might there be for not covering them?

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Mar 18th, 2011 at 08:20:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am guessing here, but if they get water cooling working they know how to handle it and eventually get the waste out of there. If covered with sand and boron, then what? Chernobyl-style sarcofagus and hope it is not broken by another quake?

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 05:14:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If covered with sand and boron, then what?

If no cement was used, just remove the sand and boron, wet or dry. Use a giant vacuum if dry or siphon if wet. Same principle as you use to clean the bottom of an aquarium, but instead of a 1/4" tube (6mm) use a 4" (105mm) pipe. It would create tons of additional material requiring special disposal but would protect against recriticality and/or fire which could spread MOX dust in the atmosphere. Not doing that seems like a gamble that they are not going to have a fire started with dry fuel rods. Doing it creates additional cleanup expense.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Mar 19th, 2011 at 09:11:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Then I can see no reason not to do it.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sun Mar 20th, 2011 at 03:56:09 PM EST
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