from NHK World / November 5, 2014 / Workers have finished removing highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel from one of the reactor buildings at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant.
The No.4 reactor had no nuclear fuel when the plant was hit by a massive quake and tsunami in March 2011. But there were more than 1,500 units of spent and unused fuel in the pool in the reactor building.
The operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company, is putting priority on removing spent fuel because it is highly radioactive. The utility began removing 1,331 units of spent fuel in November of last year. Workers completed the removal of the last 11 units by Tuesday.
TEPCO plans to finish removing the unused fuel from the building by the end of the year.
The procedure will be more difficult at the No.1, 2 and 3 reactor buildings due to high radiation levels. The 3 reactors suffered meltdowns.
TEPCO plans to start removing fuel from the pool of the No.1 reactor building in fiscal 2019. That’s a delay of 2 years from its plan.
The utility faces difficulties with melted fuel because the exact location and condition are unknown.