The successful removal of a beam dropped into a spent fuel pool, the first Tokyo Electric Power Co. settlement related to the death of an evacuee and a higher seawall at the Hamaoka nuclear plant highlighted the last week's news from Japan.Developments related to the Fukushima Daiichi power plant severely damaged following last year's earthquake and tsunami include:Beam Removed from Unit 3 SFPWhile clearing debris from around the unit 3 spent fuel pool on Sept. 22, a piece of remotely operated equipment dropped a steel beam into the water. TEPCO workers retrieved it Thursday, according to a release, after practice runs using a mockup of the beam and the SFP. Before the beam was lifted from the pool and set on the ground next to the reactor building, crews also lowered a system of rods and chains into the SFP to protect its liner during the procedure. A water purification system was also installed that TEPCO said doubled visibility in the pool to 5 meters. No damage to the liner or changes in plant conditions were detected after the beam was removed.TEPCO Settles Evacuee Death SuitTEPCO has agreed to compensate the family of a hospitalized woman who died after evacuating a city in Fukushima Prefecture. It is the first settlement of its kind, Jiji Press reported, and TEPCO agreed to pay about $174,000 and acknowledged that the evacuation was a factor in her death. The evacuation itself, rather than bodily damage from radiation, was at issue.Hamaoka Plant Will Raise Tsunami BarriersChubu Electric Power Co. announced Thursday that it will build a new tsunami barrier 4 meters higher than originally planned at its Hamaoka nuclear plant. When completed, it will stand at 22 meters tall, Kyodo reported. Government estimates have concluded that 19-meter-high tsunami is possible at the plant in the event of a large earthquake in the Tokai region. Photo: Unit 3 spent fuel pool from above, with a portion of the liner protection system visible at its edges. Source: TEPCO.