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Fukushima Fuel Debris Removal to Begin with No. 2 Reactor

Fukushima Fuel Debris Removal to Begin with No. 2 Reactor

   Tokyo, Dec. 2 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government said Monday that melted fuel debris in the No. 2 reactor of the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant will be the first to be removed in its cleanup effort.
   The plan was shown in a draft of its updated roadmap for scrapping the Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc. <9501> plant in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. Of the six reactors at the plant knocked out by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, fuel melted down in the No. 1 to No. 3 units.
   The plan came after government-backed Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corp., or NDF, in September proposed that the fuel debris removal work be conducted at the No. 2 reactor ahead of the other two heavily damaged units. According to NDF, the No. 2 unit has seen the most advanced inspections of the inside of the reactor and radiation levels around the site.
   A robot arm will be inserted into the reactor's containment vessel through an opening to suck out melted fuel, and the fuel debris will be transferred to a special container and stored at a facility within the plant, the government said. Work to collect samples of the fuel debris will be conducted in 2021.
   The draft also outlined a plan to take out fuel remaining in spent fuel pools at the plant by the end of 2031. Currently, pools at all reactors except for the No. 4 reactor store nuclear fuel rods. Fuel in the No. 4 reactor pool has already been removed.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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