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information about Fukushima published in English in Japanese media info publiée en anglais dans la presse japonaise

Decommissioning: Further delays

October 15, 2014

Fukushima decommissioning may be further delayed

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/english/news/nuclear.html

Oct. 15, 2014 - Updated 18:22 UTC+2

The operator of the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant has announced plans to begin dismantling the cover of the No.1 reactor building later this month to remove debris.

The work was to begin in July, but had been delayed after radioactive dust from the plant was blamed for contaminating rice paddies in Fukushima when the operator removed debris from the plant's No.3 reactor building in August of last year.

The No.1 reactor building has a cover to prevent radioactive material from spreading. Massive amounts of debris remain inside the building following the hydrogen explosion in March 2011.

The debris blocks work to remove nuclear fuel rods from the spent fuel storage pool inside the building.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, has been working on ways to stop the spread of radioactive contaminants in nearby areas. It discussed measures with local municipalities.

TEPCO on Wednesday unveiled plans to begin drilling holes in the cover, starting October 22nd, to spray chemicals inside to stop dust from spreading.

The cover will be partially removed in late October to monitor whether radioactive dust will spread.

TEPCO says work to completely dismantle the cover will begin next March, and will be completed more than 12 months later. It says debris removal will begin before October 2016.

The Japanese government and TEPCO initially set a timetable for removing fuel rods from the reactor building after April 2017, but delays are also likely.

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