Dangerous fuel-rod removal to start in Fukushima


GROUND ZERO. A Tokyo Electric Power Corp.'s official (C) is standing in front of journalists at the H4 tank area at the Tokyo Electric Power Corp.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, Japan, 07 November 2013. EPA/Kimimasa Mayama/Pool

Japanese nuclear engineers prepare to move uranium and plutonium fuel rods at Fukushima, an important step in the plant’s decommissioning plan. Operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) will also have to remove the misshapen cores of three reactors that went into meltdown. More than 1,500 rods must be pulled out of the storage pool where they were being kept when a tsunami smashed into Fukushima in March 2011. TEPCO said the entire operation is scheduled to run for more than a year. But the full decommissioning of Fukushima is likely to take decades. The operation comes after months of setbacks at the plant, including multiple leaks from tanks storing radioactive water.

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