It has been dubbed, perhaps somewhat hysterically, the most dangerous situation since the Cuban Missile Crisis: the task of removing the fuel rods from the Spent Fuel Pool next to Reactor 4 at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. A mistake during this operation could result in a far worse release of radiation than any that has happened so far since the March 11th earthquake and subsequent meltdowns in 2011.

Blogger EX-SKF is keeping an eye on Japanese reporting of this delicate operation, which will take at least a year, and that is just for the SFP for one reactor ((#4)! And assuming all goes well.

NHK, who apparently had a live footage of the scene at Fukushima I Nuclear Power Plant according to people who were watching TV, says it took the truck carrying the cask 10 minutes to go from the Reactor 4 building to the Common Pool which is 100 meters away.

via The First Cask from Reactor 4 Spent Fuel Pool Was Safely Lowered, Transported to the Common Pool | EXSKF.

Tepco’s Photos and Videos Library has been updated with photos of Friday’s operation (Nov. 22nd).

All those who are working on this, as well as all those who have worked on this site since March 11th, 2011, should have their efforts recognized in some way. Not all of them will want their names recorded or publicized, perhaps, but some recognition of the country’s, and possibly the Pacific region’s, gratitude, for what these largely unsung heroes have done and continue to do, is due, IMHO.

So far, there have been no hitches, fortunately. But the operation has been doing the easy part: transferring the undamaged spent fuel rods. Removing the damaged ones will be the tricky part.