Japanese utility Tepco announced to local news media in Japan that the company had begun fuel rod removal from the damaged reactor building No. 3, as of Monday this week.
There are 1,573 fuel rods to be removed from the site, which included meltdowns at three reactors. In building No. 3, there are 566 remaining fuel rod assemblies, the company said.
”As part of the decommissioning efforts, removal of the remaining fuel rods estimates a major risk,” the company said.
Workers are using remotely operated equipment to transfer the fuel assemblies from the damaged pool to an underwater cask. The rods will be removed one at a time. When the container is full, it will be loaded onto a truck by use of a crane. Japanese news outlet NHK quoted plant director Tomohiko Isogai as saying, “thanks to their training, the work has been going smoothly.”
Tepco has said the fuel rods in the cooling pool in Building No. 3 are undamaged, estimating it would take two years to complete the rod removal from the building.
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