But it puts up little defence of a design flaw that does appear to be at the heart of the crisis at Fukushima – the extraordinary practice of putting the pool where the highly radioactive used fuel is stored on an upper floor of the reactor building, instead of, as is normal, having it at ground level.
and the exposure of highly radioactive spent fuel in a storage pool at a fourth.
It\’s the use of \”spent\” and \”used\” which I\’m not sure about.
I have feeling, and I\’m not sure where it comes from (been reading so much about this, difficult to know where any specific piece of info comes from) that the correct description would be \”partially used\” fuel.
Dearieme, who comments around here occasionally, would be able to tell us.
This reactor design does indeed have a storage pool for fuel rods up above the reactor. This is not, however, for \”spent\” rods, ones that have been used and are then on their long journey off to be cooled then either reprocessed or buried.
This is for rods that have been in the reactor, have been removed and are going to be put back. When the plant is closed for maintenance for example (as I believe reactor 4 was). Take the rods out, do the work, keep the rods close to hand and cool, before putting them back.
This may or may not be a wise design choice but it\’s not quite what I see it being described as: this isn\’t spent fuel, this is stuff that will be relaoded into the reactor, which is why it is kept very close to that top of the reactor where it will be reloaded at some point.