Work in Units 1 and 3 are preparations for removal of fuel assemblies from the spent fuel pools
TOKYO, Feb. 10-Preparations at Fukushima Daiichi Units 1 and 3 for the eventual removal of fuel assemblies, together with progress in freezing the “ice wall,” are the highlights of the latest quarterly report on progress in TEPCO Holdings’ implementation of its Nuclear Safety Reform Plan.
Also reported is continuing work to ensure that the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa Nuclear Power Station is getting ready for safe operation based on the Nuclear Regulation Authority’s requirements, and a summary of the company’s self-assessment effort. The report covers the third quarter of TEPCO Holdings’ current fiscal year, October-December 2016.
Preparations for Spent Fuel Removal
In Unit 1, temporary wall panels that had been put in place after the March 2011 accident were being carefully removed so that rubble scattered on the reactor’s top floor can be removed to conduct the future fuel extractions. The panel removals were completed in November, and the goal is to begin fuel removal operations during FY2020.
In Unit 3, additional shielding has been put in place on the top floor to protect employees and contractors who will need to work there during preparation for the fuel removal from the spent fuel pool. Other work to support fuel removal equipment was performed in the unit, and the plan is to begin removing fuel in FY 2018.
“Ice Wall” (the landside impermeable wall)
The report also summarizes developments during the quarter in the freezing of the “ice wall” - actually a frozen soil barrier designed to isolate the four damaged reactor buildings from groundwater flows. It reports that the frozen state of the soil is being maintained, and that the amount of water pumped up daily has declined from 400 cubic meters to 140 cubic meters.
The report briefly summarized TEPCO Holdings’ major self-assessment activity. The self-assessment’s findings, it said, “revealed the need to enhance organizational governance and human resource cultivation. In response to these findings, we are sharing information on basic plans and priorities and quickly implementing necessary reforms, and a management model is being established and developed as a governance enhancement measure to promote follow-ups by management.” (A more detailed report including action plans and actions being implemented was provided to the Nuclear Reform Monitoring Committee in January, after the close of the quarter, and is available on TEPCO Holdings’ website at http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/2017/1368951_10469.html.)
The report also discusses progress at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa, and in the overall implementation of the Nuclear Safety Reform Plan, including better communication and various management reforms. An English-language summary of the quarterly progress report may be seen at http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/press/corp-com/release/betu17_e/images/170210e0101.pdf.
The full report is available (currently only in Japanese) at http://www.tepco.co.jp/press/release/2017/pdf1/170210j0102.pdf.
About TEPCO Group
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO Holdings) is Japan's largest power company group, holding three independent business entities: TEPCO Fuel & Power, Inc., TEPCO Power Grid, Inc., and TEPCO Energy Partner, Inc. As a group, it generates, distributes, and sells electricity and other types of energy principally to the Kanto metropolitan area, which includes Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. Its 33,000 employees are committed to providing safe, reliable power to its 29 million customers as well as fulfilling its responsibilities to the communities of Fukushima. (As of April 1, 2016)
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