TEPCO has changed their stance on the incidents recently at Fukushima Daiichi. Now they are claiming that the re-criticalities are actually spontaneous fissions. They state that the radiation levels seen have not increased enough to be from criticalities. While the concept of the problem being spontaneous fission is probable, TEPCO’s reason given is less so.
“The amount of xenon-135 detected almost matched the amount that would have been produced if the radioactive curium in the fuel had undergone spontaneous fission.”
This claim doesn’t seem likely or clear. TEPCO does not provide any detail on how they came to this conclusion or full disclosure of what was found in whatever testing was done.
Some have questioned how TEPCO could make such an assertion. Others that if it was spontaneous fission TEPCO would have known how to see this as that is an ongoing problem.
There is even distrust of TEPCO’s claims on this by those more in the know at the plant.
UPDATE: EX-SKF is reporting that NISA isn’t totally convinced by TEPCO’s claims either and wants them to submit data so they can have experts review it. NISA also expressed concern that TEPCO needs to have adequate safety measures in place for events such as criticalities. The question was also brought up about the 100 fold increase in Krypton-85
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