via EX-SKF / May 10, 2014 / Just as the start of fuel assembly removal from Reactor 4’s Spent Fuel Pool was anticlimactic, so is the removal of debris from Reactor 3’s Spent Fuel Pool. No one reports it (not even the independent journalists these days), and TEPCO does not publicize.

According to the progress report inside the updated Roadmap (4/24/2014; from page 222 to page 233), since December 17, 2013, TEPCO has so far removed from the Reactor 3 Spent Fuel Pool:

(from Page 224)

  • 322 reinforcing bars (out of 330 total)
  • 55 deck plates (out of 65)
  • 6 roof trusses (out of 9)
  • 1 Fuel Handling Machine mast (out of 1)

Having removed debris that was in the way of removing Fuel Handling Machine, TEPCO (and the main contractor Kajima) is now removing the Fuel Handling Machine itself, which weighs about 35 tonnes.

(from Page 225)

Photo (clearly composite) of Reactor 3 SFP as of March 11, 2014, top arrow showing one of the roof trusses, bottom arrow showing the Fuel Handling Machine mast (1.6 tonne) (click to enlarge):


Removal of the roof truss on March 28, 2014:


Removal of the FHM mast on March 27, 2014:


According to TEPCO’s progress report, they are removing the debris that is in the way of removing the FHM, such as the main hoist pulley (which was removed on April 16, 2014), hoist frame, trolley frame, walkway, bridge, etc.

(From Pages 228, 229):



After several hiccups (such as dropping the debris into the pool in February 2013 when they braved the heavy snow – low visibility – to do the catch-up work of debris removal, or dropping the camera into the pool in November 2013), so far so good, without major incident, since the debris removal from the Spent Fuel Pool itself started in December 2013.

There has to be the videos of the debris removal from Reactor 3’s SFP, but they are not posted at TEPCO’s website for public view. From the description of the work, though, the videos would be extremely boring, with the slow (probably excruciatingly so) and deliberate remote-controlled heavy equipment taking eternity to grab one piece of debris.

All EX-SKF’s posts about Reactor 3 are here.


Did you like this? Share it:
By Broc West| 9 Comments | Featured, News


  1. I really appreciate the fact that you post these kinds of updates. Thanks for the time and effort spent in keeping us informed!

    • Thank you for the kind words Niall!

  2. I second NIALL’s comment. These kinds of updates really help give an idea of what the state of the Daiichi site is.

  3. If there is a problem with nuclear material melting into groundwater why dont they drill a hole that goes past water, put a tube or something in it and let it melt where it wants to melt to.

    • Because it won’t melt anymore. doesn’t generate enough heat. The radioactive half-lives have reduced the heat generating material down to a point where it can’t melt on it’s own.

  4. Yes, thank you soooo very much for keeping on this for us all!

  5. It sounds like this is good news. The really good news I’d like to hear now is that TEPCO would give a large one-time relocation fee to the families from the iffy radiated zones so those poor people could get on with their lives. When that happens, I think the Japanese can finally get some closure concerning this incident at Fukushima.
    Another issue that concerns me is the ever-expanding number of water tanks containing radiated water at that site. What are the long-range plans for these? I would think that there would be a possibility that some of that water could get into the drinking water in that area. I know it is not good to put radiation into the sea, but I’m even more concerned about the health of the Japanese people in that local area. I will say another prayer for them that they will be safe.

    • Regarding compensation, that’s already happening for all evacuees, for both practical matters and for mental suffering, although Fukushima evacuees get significantly more than other tsunami refugees. Also there are resettlement compensations:

      ・Additional compensation upon building new housing for returning home
      ・Additional compensation upon acquiring housing at new locations
      ・Lump-sum compensation for the mental suffering of people from areas remaining off-limits for the foreseeable future

      Regarding stored water and drinking water, Fukushima Daiichi is sited in a bowl of hills facing out to sea. There isn’t any physically plausible path for groundwater flow that leads back towards settlements.

  6. To Joffan: Thanks for the information addressing my concerns. The translation of pertinent matters about the incident that were taken up by the Japanese government was particularly helpful. Although there were no specific amounts mentioned, I trust that the compensation matter will be handled in a fair manner. I would hate to be the one to have to assess damages for each of the thousands affected by the earthquake/tsunami/meltdown combination. Wow!!

    Even though it has been over three years since the disasters at Fukushima, I still read info on it almost every day, as some of the issues are still affecting people. And in spite of the fact that my son works in a well-run nuclear plant in the U.S., I’m not very comfortable with nuclear power. Maybe that is because ANY accident with nuclear power can have such drastic consequences. I hope that solar power can be further developed to provide more of our energy needs.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *