TEPCO has started the Unit 4 fuel removal operation today with the utmost attention paid to safety. Neither trouble nor abnormality has been encountered at the site.
FUKUSHIMA, Japan, Nov. 18, 2013 - TEPCO has made progress with its preparations for removing the fuel assemblies from the Unit 4 spent fuel pool, based on the "Mid-and-Long-Term Roadmap towards the Decommissioning of TEPCO's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Units 1-4," announcing the commencement of the fuel removal operation today (November 18). No significant change was observed in the monitoring post radiation level readings in relation to this operation.
The fuel assemblies will be removed one by one from a fuel rack inside the Unit 4 spent fuel pool, and will be loaded onto the on-premises transportation container (cask*, type: NFT-22B), which is capable of holding as many as 22 assemblies. Once the container has been filled with assemblies, workers will transport it to another pool in the Common Pool Building.
The fuel removal operation is targeted for completion by the end of 2016, but TEPCO states that it cannot make public the detailed date of fuel transfer, etc. for security reasons.
TEPCO will announce the progress of the fuel transfer on a regular basis.
The current status of the Unit 4 fuel removal operation is as follows:
- 11:45 AM: Transfer of the on-premises transportation container from the cask preparation pit to the spent fuel pool was started.
- 12:00 PM: The container reached the water inside the spent fuel pool.
- 12:30 PM: The container reached the bottom floor of the spent fuel pool.
- 3:18 PM: Work to raise the fuel assemblies (unirradiated fuel) was started.
- 3:25 PM: Raising of the first fuel assembly (unirradiated fuel) was started.
- 3:57 PM: Loading of the first fuel assembly (unirradiated fuel) onto the on-premises transportation container was completed.
*Metallic container used to contain, store and transfer radioactive materials such as nuclear fuels.
TEPCO, Inc. is a provider of electricity to the Kanto region, which includes Tokyo and Yokohama. The company is headquartered in Tokyo. For more information, please go to http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/index-e.html.