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Fukushima’s MOX Fuel Reactor May Be Seriously Damaged
“It’s very possible that there has been some kind of leak at the No. 3 reactor,” Hidehiko Nishiyama, a spokesman at the Japan Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency said in Tokyo today. While radioactive water at the unit most likely escaped from the reactor core, it also could have originated from spent fuel pools stored atop the reactor, he said.”
The water surrounding the reactor is 10,000 times above normal reactor water.
The Mixed Oxide Fuel (MOX) reactor which burns with plutonium/uranium is more deadly than those burning on uranium enriched fuel, according to nuclear experts. The Half-life of Plutonium-239 in MOX is 24,000 years and just a few milligrams of P-239 escaping in a smoke plume will contaminate soil for tens of thousands of years.
Declassified Cold War documents have previously revealed the higher contamination levels of items from atomic power and atomic weapons facilities in the U.S., which had utilized recycled uranium/plutonium combinations. The Huntington Pilot Plant, once on the INCO campus, became so contaminated that it was buried in a classified section of the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant property reserved for highly radioactive materials.