Fukushima Daiichi remove second batch of spent fuel rods
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - 00:41
Nov. 27 - TEPCO begins removing the second batch of spent fuel rods from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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Tokyo Electric Power Company on Tuesday (November 26) began removing the second batch of spent fuel rods from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors in a decommissioning process said to take at least a full year.
This comes less than one week after Tepco, as it is also known, completed the removal of the first fuel rods from a cooling pool high up in a badly damaged reactor building, a rare success in the often fraught battle to control the site.
The batches of 22 unused fuel assemblies, which each contain 50-70 of the fuel rods, are to be transferred by a trailer to a safer storage pool after each operation round which lasts four days, Tepco has said.
Its technicians must pluck more than 1,500 brittle and potentially damaged assemblies from the unstable reactor No.4., the early stages of a decommissioning process following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that wrecked the site.
The hazardous removal operation has been likened by Arnie Gundersen, a veteran U.S. nuclear engineer and director of Fairewinds Energy Education, to trying to pull cigarettes from a crushed pack.
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