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Protective sheet positioned at damaged reactor


June 12, 2020

The operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has released footage showing part of the time-consuming steps needed to remove nuclear fuel from a pool at its No.1 reactor.

In the video, workers used remote-controlled tools to place a wide sheet over the surface of the pool. The radiation level there remains high.

Tokyo Electric Power Company has been engaged in removing debris from the upper part of the reactor building where the pool is located. The debris was caused by an explosion during the 2011 nuclear accident.

The sheet is meant to protect the pool and 392 nuclear fuel assemblies still inside from further damage that could result from the possible falling of debris or large machinery.

The six-by-eleven meter sheet is inflatable to a thickness of 50 centimeters. It will be filled with cement to increase its strength.

The operator plans to begin clearing the debris from around the pool by the end of the month, as soon as the sheet’s cement has solidified.

The operator plans to start removing the fuel from the pool of the No.1 reactor in fiscal 2027. Similar work at the No.2 reactor will start in fiscal 2024. Fuel removal from the pool at the No.3 reactor will be completed by fiscal 2020. The removal work is finished at the No.4 reactor.


June 22, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Tepco prepares to survey Fukushima Daiichi unit 2 fuel pool

ROV-operation-training-May-2020-(Tepco)A worker receives training on using the submersible ROV

14 May 2020

Tokyo Electric Power Company (Tepco) has carried out training in the operation of a submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that will be used to investigate the used fuel pool of unit 2 at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The investigation is scheduled to begin in mid-June.

The company said it plans to start removing the 587 fuel assemblies from the unit’s used fuel pool between fiscal year 2024 (ending March 2025) and fiscal year 2026 (ending March 2027). “However, prior to commencing fuel removal, we must first ascertain whether or not there are any obstructions above the fuel or inside the cask pit, and we must also ascertain the condition of the skimmer surge tank,” Tepco said.

Dose levels on the operating floor of unit 2 are high thereby making it difficult to access, Tepco noted. It has yet to conduct an internal investigation of the unit’s used fuel pool, but it has made progress with the cleanup of equipment, etc. that remains on the operating floor and it is now possible to access the area near the storage pool. Tepco has also now deemed it possible to safely install investigation equipment.

Tepco held training sessions at the Fukushima robot test field in Minami-Soma City for eight employees between 13 and 15 May on operation of the submersible ROV. It says the design of equipment for the removal of the fuel from unit 2’s storage pool will be reviewed according to the results of the investigation.


June 11, 2020 Posted by | Fukushima 2020 | , , | Leave a comment

Once severely damaged Fukushima reactor building opened to media to showcase progress

Tepco’s representatives and METI’s officials have spent 15 minutes at the top floor of the reactor 3 building, 30 meters above the ground.
0,08mSv/per hour on the platform and 0,7mSv/per hour near the fuel pool with its 566 fuel assemblies supposed to be unloaded within 6 months. According to Tepco, workers cannot stay up there more than one hour or two per day….
The real content of that fuel pool is still mysterious, as no whole picture of that pool has ever been released.
22 nov 2017 reacytor 3 pool.JPG
The top floor of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s No. 3 reactor building is seen on Nov. 21, 2017. The spent fuel pool can be seen at lower left. (Mainichi)
The top level of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant’s No. 3 reactor building was opened to the news media on Nov. 21.
The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry along with plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) guided reporters to the reactor building’s top floor for a tour lasting about 15 minutes.
The building was badly damaged by a hydrogen explosion in the first days of the Fukushima nuclear crisis in March 2011. However, the debris has been cleared away, and radiation that had stood at 800 millisieverts per hour just after the reactor meltdowns was measured at 0.08 mSv/h on the 7-meter-high platform, on which fuel removal equipment and other devices have been installed, on Nov. 21. Closer to the fuel pool, the figure rose to 0.7 mSv/h. According to TEPCO, workers are limited to just one to two hours on the platform.
22 oct 2017 reactor 3.JPG
The top floor is about 30 meters from the ground. The spent fuel pool currently contains 566 fuel assemblies, and preparations are underway to start the removal process as early as mid-fiscal 2018, with equipment for the job already installed on the platform. A net currently covers the pool to prevent anything — or anyone — from falling in.
A semi-cylindrical cover is also being constructed to prevent radioactive materials from escaping when fuel removal operations begin.

November 23, 2017 Posted by | Fukushima 2017 | , , , | Leave a comment