Metals News
Tin could cool Fukushima reactor say Chernobyl team
data analysis
Mar 22,2011

Mar. 22 -- A special working group set up in Ukraine has passed Japan its proposals on stabilizing the situation at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, the Interfax news agency reported. The group comprises specialists who were involved in clearing the aftermath of the nuclear breakdown at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine twenty five years ago. "The proposals were passed through the Japanese embassy in Ukraine," the Ukrainian Emergencies Service said in a statement circulated on Thursday. A team of Ukrainian nuclear specialists is ready fly out to Japan to help put these proposals into practice.

The Ukrainian plan suggests that to bring the heat processes in Fukushima-1 reactors under control, it is necessary "first, to ensure a normal cooling mode in the spent fuel pools by pumping water, sea water as a last resort, into them; second, the type of reactor fuel coolant needs to be changed – water should be replaced with low-melting and chemically neutral metal, for instance tin, which will pull heat away from the fuel rods (molten or damaged) towards the inner walls of the reactor, while continuing to use sea water to cool down its outer walls". The tin 'lake' inside the reactor will "reduce the discharge of heavy fission products and bring ionizing radiation levels down. Chipped tin could be pumped in through steam communications under pressure using cylinders with helium or argon".


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