Top > Releases ・ Announcements > Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report > 2014 > Recent topics:FUEL REMOVAL FROM UNIT 4 REACTOR BUILDING COMPLETED AT FUKUSHIMA DAIICHI

Fukushima Daiichi NPS Prompt Report 2014


TEPCO President praises workers and organizations for their skill and commitment

FUKUSHIMA, December 22-The first major advance toward decommissioning of Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station has been completed: all fuel assemblies have been removed from one of the four damaged reactor buildings, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. announced.

The fuel removal, which began more than a year ago after extensive preparations and training, was completed at approximately 15:00 on December 22, safely and on schedule, resulting in a significantly safer environment for workers and for surrounding communities, and developing skills that will be essential in the removal of similar assemblies from the other three reactor units.

Removal of the 1,535 fuel assemblies including the 1,331 spent fuel and the other unused fuel from Unit 4 began last November after extensive work to stabilize the heavily damaged building. The spent fuel assemblies have been moved from a spent fuel pool that is suspended four stories high to a pool in a separate building at ground level, work that was completed on November 5, 2014. The unused fuel was removed and transported to a pool in Unit 6, one of two reactor buildings at the facility that was undamaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, where it is being stored.

TEPCO President and CEO Naomi Hirose explained that the completion is important for several reasons: "Most importantly, it makes Unit 4 and the Fukushima Daiichi site in general a safer place to work, and it adds to the safety of the communities near the facility." He also marked "Successful completion of the removal of fuel from Unit 4 allows us to turn our attention to our next tasks with the benefit of experience, enabling us to work even more safely and more efficiently."

President Hirose praised the workers and organizations involved: "That it was done safely and without incident is a testimony to the skill and commitment of our engineers and workers at every level, and to the many other organizations, in Japan and from around the world, that contributed their knowledge and resources. I wish to express my personal gratitude, and that of our company, to all of them."

Fuel removal operations will next shift to Units 1-3, where efforts will be made more challenging by the elevated level of radioactivity in those units.

"TEPCO is to be congratulated for this success," said Dr. Dale Klein, former head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission who now chairs TEPCO's group of independent advisors. "The processes used in planning for and successfully executing this complex year-long effort demonstrated that TEPCO is incorporating concepts from its new safety culture into its work. As attention shifts to the other units this is not the time to become complacent, as challenges will be even greater. But I believe TEPCO and its partners are creating the strong team needed to address these challenges."

President Hirose's message could be seen at

A video looking back at the work at Unit 4 fuel removal may be seen at


Tokyo Electric Power Company, Inc. (TEPCO) is Japan's largest power company, supplying energy to the greater Kanto area, including Japan's two most populous cities, Tokyo and Yokohama. Its 35,000 employees are committed to providing safe, reliable power to its 29.0 million customers, diversifying energy resources to ensure sustainability, and contributing to economic growth while fully meeting its responsibilities after the Fukushima Daiichi accident.
TEPCO website:
TEPCO facebook page:

to TOP