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Fuel removal at Fukushima reactor again faces delay

Fuel removal at Fukushima reactor again faces delay thumbnail

Work to retrieve spent nuclear fuel in the No. 3 reactor building storage pool of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will again be postponed due to a delay in clearing radioactive debris at the site.

TEPCO planned to begin removing 566 spent nuclear fuel assemblies in the storage pool in January 2018. However, the government and the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., decided on the postponement, sources said on Dec. 22. They will decide on a new timetable in a few weeks.

The work was initially scheduled for fiscal 2015, but had been pushed back because of high radiation readings in and around the No. 3 reactor building. The building was heavily damaged by a hydrogen explosion in the days following the disaster, triggered by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.

TEPCO had attempted to lower radiation levels by clearing the radioactive debris remaining at the site.

But the clearing work took longer than expected due to contamination being more widespread than previously thought, forcing TEPCO and the government to again put off the retrieval.

Radiation levels have now dropped as almost all of wreckage at the site has been cleared, TEPCO said. The government and TEPCO have said fuel retrieval at the No. 1 and No. 2 reactor buildings will start in fiscal 2020 or later.


6 Comments on "Fuel removal at Fukushima reactor again faces delay"

  1. penury on Fri, 23rd Dec 2016 3:26 pm 

    They have been “cleaning”
    up Hanford since 1946 and they still need another 20 years to complete the job. And this was with no explosion.

  2. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 24th Dec 2016 4:47 am 

    Set off a hydrogen bomb in the middle of the complex, and its all cleaned up. Same day.

  3. Kenz300 on Sat, 24th Dec 2016 6:02 am 

    Nuclear energy is too costly and too dangerous.

    Who will pay to store nuclear waste FOREVER?

  4. Go Speed Racer on Sat, 24th Dec 2016 6:47 pm 

    If you put it in barrels and throw it into
    the ocean, then it stays there forever,
    and for free!

  5. Midnight Oil on Sun, 25th Dec 2016 4:00 am 

    Sure thing it stays there…it was done by the US Navy off of San Fransisco Bay and its like a slow release time capsule…. Until all that is left is a rusted shell of a barrel.

    d questions about the safety of the Farallon Islands Radioactive Waste Dump — a vast region overlapping what is now a marine sanctuary where the federal government dumped nearly 48,000 barrels of low-level radioactive waste between 1946 and 1970.

  6. peakyeast on Sun, 25th Dec 2016 5:50 am 

    I disagree GSR. Just a normal atomic bomb – we need to supercharge our mutations to fit our changes to the eco systems and new flora and fauna.

    This is the moment where we must decidedly move from humans to mutants.

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