By Jun Hongo
via Wall Street Journalfuel-removal-tepco
August 3rd, 2015

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said it successfully removed the largest piece of debris from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear-power plant’s Unit 3 reactor, which had fallen inside the spent-fuel pool following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

According to Tepco, the company used two 600-ton cranes to lift the 20-ton fuel-handling machine, which was sitting on top of more than 500 fuel assemblies. While there were concerns that the procedure might damage the spent-fuel pool’s gates and reduce water levels, which could have heated up the radioactive fuel rods, Tepco said they experienced no trouble during the procedure.

The lifting of the fuel-handling machine began at 11:55 a.m. on Sunday and ended at 1:18 p.m. A spokesman said that there was some fog in the area but that it didn’t affect the process. All other procedures at the nuclear power plant were halted while the debris was being removed.

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