31 Mai 2016
May 31, 2016
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is using a vacuum-like device to clear radioactive debris from a damaged reactor building.
The No. 1 reactor building suffered a hydrogen explosion in 2011. The top floor of the building is scattered with relatively small pieces of rubble, including iron frames and concrete. The debris is an obstacle to plans to remove nuclear fuel from a cooling pool in the building.
On Monday, a device measuring 13 meters long and 5 meters high was lifted by crane to the building. It is fitted with a hose capable of sucking up objects weighing as much as 20 kilograms.
Tokyo Electric Power Company says it wants to complete the work in July and move on to larger pieces of debris next year. The company hopes to start removing the nuclear fuel in about four years.
The company says workers are spraying chemical agents and taking other steps to prevent the spread of radioactive dust.
TEPCO came under fire in 2013, when work to remove rubble from the No. 3 reactor building resulted in radioactive substances being dispersed to surrounding areas.
The company says that during the work on Monday, no abnormalities were detected in radiation levels or in the count of radioactive particles.