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

Removal of No.3 fuel rods delayed

November 18, 2016

TEPCO expects delay in fuel rod removal



The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is likely to begin an operation to place a cover over a damaged reactor building in January, after a 9-month delay.

Tokyo Electric Power Company, or TEPCO, reported the schedule to nuclear regulators on Friday. The metal cover must be in place before the utility can start removing nuclear fuel units from the No. 3 reactor's pool.

TEPCO was initially planning to start assembling the cover in April this year. But officials say it took more time than expected to decontaminate the site and install plates made of lead to block radiation.

TEPCO says workers will first spend about 6 months installing equipment to lift and transfer the fuel units, and then assemble the cover.

Officials say they can't forecast when the work will be complete, and that they may have to revise a plan to start removing the fuel units before April 2018.

The No. 3 reactor's fuel pool houses 556 spent and unused fuel assemblies.


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