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TEPCO resumes removal of No.1 cover

September 13, 2016


TEPCO resumes removal of Fukushima plant cover





The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has resumed work to remove a temporary cover from a damaged reactor building.

Tokyo Electric Power Company had covered the partially collapsed No. 1 reactor building to prevent radioactive materials generated by the 2011 accident from spreading.

It started the removal process in July last year, the first step in the retrieval of spent nuclear fuel from a storage pool in the building.

The operation was suspended after sheets from the roof area were removed to assess the building's condition.

On Tuesday, cranes were used to detach the panels from the side of the building, and the debris inside was exposed for the first time in 5 years. Each panel is 23 by 17 meters and weighs 20 tons.

TEPCO officials say they will spray chemicals to ensure that radioactive substances do not disperse even in strong winds.

They say they plan to complete the operation by the end of November, so that the debris can be removed. The removal of spent fuel is due to begin in 2021.

Industry ministry official Masato Kino who monitored the progress at the scene said difficult procedures will continue, but the first step has been taken. He said he hopes to carefully and safely proceed.

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