Tepco to start fuel removal from Fukushima reactor
Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Friday it will start removing nuclear fuel from the spent fuel pool of the reactor 4 building at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 plant from Monday. Reactor 4 avoided a reactor meltdown, unlike the units 1 to 3, as all of its fuel was stored in the spent fuel pool due to the reactor undergoing periodic maintenance work at that time. But the building housing the reactor was severely damaged by a hydrogen explosion, raising concern about the continued storage of the more than 1,000 fuel assemblies in the spent fuel tank. (Japantimes.co.jp)
Tepco’s Negligence in 1982 Makes Removal More Difficult Now
Tepco’s efforts to remove the radioactive fuel rods-already extremely dangerous and difficult-have hit a bump before they’ve even started. Since they failed to fix the problems back then, it is much more difficult to solve the most dangerous crisis since the Cuban missile crisis now even more difficult.
The operator of Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will as early as this week begin removing 400 tons of highly irradiated spent fuel in a hugely delicate and unprecedented operation fraught with risk. (Reuters)
Since an earthquake and tsunami hit the Fukushima Daiichi Plant in March of 2011, the fuel rods at Reactor Number Four have been in dangerously delicate shape. They can’t heat up, be exposed to air or break without releasing deadly gas, but the cooling pool they’ve been resting in its leaky and corroded by seawater and could never withstand another tremor or quake. After years of mistakes, cover-ups and fibs, nuclear watchers don’t want to give TEPCO another chance. A hundred and fifty thousand people have signed a petition calling for the world to take over at once. (thenation.com)