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Inspection of Fukushima Daiichi Unit 3 Spent Fuel Pool’s Damage

December 6, 2021

TEPCO reported in late November on some ongoing work to inspect the remaining fuel and equipment in the Unit 3 spent fuel pool. Work took place between July and October of 2021. Part of this work included equipment in the pool classified as high radiation. This included used control rods and other high radiation equipment such as used filter canisters.

The inspection found a damaged control rod lying across a fuel rack, two damaged control rods hung in the wall rack, and damage to the rack itself. Two “dummy” fuel assemblies have damaged lifting handles and six lifting tabs on the fuel racks were damaged. Sandy debris and rust were found at the bottom of the pool, causing difficulty in examining the used filters stored in the pool.

TEPCO wasn’t able to obtain clear radiation readings due to the depth of the debris in the bottom of the pool. The highest location they were able to take a reading was near the control rod found lying across the fuel rack. That reading was 265 mSv/h. TEPCO planned to begin removing debris from the fuel rack in November of 2021. Work to remove the control rods and high-dose equipment would begin in mid-2022.

A translated version of the TEPCO report can be found here:

The original report in Japanese can be found here:

December 7, 2021 Posted by | Fukushima 2021 | , , | Leave a comment

Fuel removal unlikely by March 2018

566 fuel assemblies, 514 spent fuel assemblies and 52 unused ones, Tepco has always said so. But since the fuel pool was cleaned up, Tepco only released partial photos of the fuel pool, never any photo of the whole fuel pool. So as of now it is just impossible  to verify Tepco’s claim by counting the assemblies. Since the fuel pool also exploded some fuel assemblies must be missing. How many are gone how many remain is still a non answered question, especially as Tepco is not well known for being straightforward.

Will Tepco dare to start decommissioning the reactor 3 fuel pool before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics? I doubt so. In my opinion, Tepco will keep postponing it for after the Olympics, to avoid difficulties and critics



Fuel removal unlikely by March 2018

A government official has suggested that fuel removal from a reactor at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant will not start by March 2018, as planned.

566 nuclear fuel units remain in the No. 3 reactor’s fuel pool. To reach their target period, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company must begin placing a cover over the damaged reactor building by this April.

It’s now expected the cover installation will not start until January next year or later. It was determined that stronger measures are needed to protect workers from radiation exposure.

An official with the industry ministry overseeing reactor decommissioning inspected the plant on Monday. He said starting fuel removal within the next fiscal year is difficult.

Tokyo Electric says the cover installation has been slow, but the company will continue decommissioning work with safety as their highest priority.

November 22, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment