The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says that the injection of water into the reactors of the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant could lead to new explosions and a decrease in the seismic resistance of the nuclear power plant.
According to the ministry's report, seawater, which is pumped into the reactors of the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant to cool the fuel rods, increases the pressure inside the reactor, increases the risk of explosion in power units, and also reduces the seismic resistance of the nuclear power plant, writes The New York Times.
“Even as the best juggler in the world, you won't be able to pick up too many balls. In the future, the Japanese may have a lot of problems, and just one wrong step can significantly complicate the situation, "- quotes the publication of David Lochbaum, one of the authors of the report, who previously worked with reactors of a similar type.
Experts warn of the possibility of new cracks appearing through which highly radioactive water could leak. The liquidators repaired one of these cracks on Wednesday.
In addition, the injection of water into the containment affects its seismic resistance. The more water is in the shell of the reactor, the more severe the damage from subsequent earthquakes will be, experts in the field of nuclear power plant design warn in their report.
“If I were in the Japanese position, I would seriously think before pouring tons of water into the reactor shell, especially since the integrity of the reactor shell has not been verified since the earthquake,” says Margaret Harding, a former reactor designer at General Electric.
The authors of the report recommend that engineers continue to add boron to the water to cool the reactor to avoid starting a nuclear reaction. At the same time, experts say that despite all possible threats, today the situation at the Fukushima-1 NPP is still under the control of the liquidators.
"I see no reason to assume that some critical processes are taking place," The New York Times quoted Neil Wilmshurst, vice president of the nuclear sector at the Institute for Electricity Research, as quoted by The New York Times.
Another danger of pumping water into the reactor shell lies in the increasing likelihood of an explosion. Experts explain that radiation from the core of the reactor can break up water molecules. As a result of the reaction, hydrogen is released, which, being near the fuel rods, can react with oxygen. "In this case, an explosive mixture is formed next to the fuel rods," the newspaper quoted the physicist Jay LaVerne from Notre Dame.