3 Décembre 2012
December 3, 2012
TEPCO speeds up removal of spent fuel rods
Tokyo Electric Power Company and the Japanese government have decided to accelerate the removal of spent fuel rods from one of the reactor buildings at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
TEPCO and government officials on Monday reviewed their medium- and long-term plan aimed at eventually decommissioning all the reactors at the plant, which was damaged by the March 11th earthquake and tsunami last year.
They agreed to complete the removal of the fuel rods from a storage pool at the No. 4 reactor building by December of 2014, a year earlier than initially scheduled. They say this is possible because of improved procedures.
To achieve this goal, work to remove the fuel rods will start in November of next year, a month earlier than initially planned.
The officials regard the removal of the fuel rods from the No. 4 reactor building as the first important step toward decommissioning the facility.
In Monday's meeting, officials reported a 3-month delay in installing new equipment for removing various kinds of radioactive contaminants from the water used to cool the damaged reactors.
TEPCO speeds up removal of spent nuclear fuel rods
The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant says it will speed up the removal of spent nuclear fuel rods from the No.4 reactor, to respond to safety concerns.
Tokyo Electric Power Company and the government will likely endorse the decision on Monday as they review their schedule for scrapping all damaged nuclear reactors at the plant.
The removal of spent fuel rods from the No.4 reactor is viewed as the important first step of the entire procedure.
Under the revised plan, removal is scheduled for November 2013, one month earlier than the original plan, and completion for December 2014, one year earlier.
The move came after growing public concern over the earthquake resistance of the fuel pool at the No.4 reactor, which suffered a hydrogen explosion shortly after the massive earthquake and tsunami last year.
The utility says the process could be further accelerated by increasing the number of steel containers to store the spent fuel rods after they are removed from the pool.
Attention is focused on whether TEPCO and the government can hold to the overall decommissioning schedule, while ensuring the safety of workers and the procedure.