Fuel removal at Fukushima delayed again
Slow progress in preparation pushes back timeline
TOKYO -- A plan to remove spent nuclear fuel from the Fukushima Daiichi power plant hit by the March 2011 tsunami has been postponed again due to delays in preparation. The work is now set to begin in fiscal 2018 at the earliest.
The government and the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings, originally planned to start removing spent fuel at the No. 3 reactor in the first half of fiscal 2015. But in view of still high levels of radioactivity around the facilities, the schedule was revised to fiscal 2017.
The timeline has been changed again because it is taking longer than expected to decontaminate buildings and clean up debris. The installation of equipment necessary to remove the fuel was initially scheduled for spring 2016 but was postponed to this month.
The No. 3 reactor houses 566 of the 1,500-plus rods of spent and unspent nuclear fuel residing in reactors 1, 2 and 3. Fuel removal from the Nos. 1 and 2 reactors is to begin in fiscal 2020 but no concrete steps have been taken.