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Fukushima nuclear reactor no 1 – melted fuel will not begin removal until 2025 or later

Removal of melted fuel from Fukushima No. 1 reactor delayed until 2025, Mainichi, 1 Nov 14 The government and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) announced on Oct. 30 that removal of melted fuel from the No. 1 reactor at the disaster-hit Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant would be delayed by five years, until fiscal 2025. They also announced that work to remove spent fuel from a cooling pool will not begin until fiscal 2019, two years later than originally planned. The delays are the result of the removal of debris and the installation of cranes taking longer than expected.

The announcement marks the first delays in the decommissioning schedule. TEPCO said, however, that the move would not result in an overall delay to the decommissioning process, which is expected to take 30 to 40 years.

The No. 1 reactor houses 392 fuel rods in its cooling pool, while melted fuel remains in the nuclear pressure vessel and reactor containment vessel. In a meeting on Oct. 30, the government and TEPCO decided to adopt a two-step process with separate measures to remove fuel from the cooling pool and melted fuel. First, a cover will be installed on the top floor of the reactor building. After a special crane for the fuel pool removes fuel, then workers will use a container and crane setup to remove melted fuel. ……..

At the No. 2 reactor, meanwhile, since radiation levels are high and decontamination of the reactor building is difficult, officials have decided to reconsider the method of removing nuclear fuel. Officials are set to decide on a method in fiscal 2016, but there is a high possibility that removal work will fall behind schedule.

In August, work at the No. 3 reactor was suspended after a large piece of debris fell into the cooling pool while debris was being removed from around the pool’s edge. Officials plan to remove fuel from the pool next fiscal year, but the outlook for this work is unclear……..

November 1, 2014 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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